Jun 27 2017
Congressman Rogers' RECLAIM Act of 2017 (H.R. 1731) gained ground in the U.S. House today as it was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee (HNR). The bipartisan RECLAIM Act would provide a boost to coal country by fast-tracking the release of $1 billion in available funding from the Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation (AML) Fund to reclaim former coal mining land and spur economic development. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.
"I sponsored the RECLAIM Act to help revitalize coal communities all across the nation that have been devastated by the downturn of the coal industry," said Congressman Rogers. "Nearly 12,000 coal miners have been laid off in Eastern Kentucky over the last eight years. Families that relied on good paying jobs in the mines are now going bankrupt. Our small counties that once received sizable revenues from coal severence tax dollars are struggling to provide basic services. These are hardworking people who are looking for opportunities, and the RECLAIM Act stands to create thousands of good paying jobs in the communities that need it most."
States and local governments can leverage funding from RECLAIM to secure additional sources of public and private funding to develop abandoned mine lands for economic development opportunities, such as new water lines, hiking trails, small business expansions and new industry recruitment.
"The possibiities are endless," said Congressman Rogers. "This bill represents a real investment in coal country - one that will provide much needed resources to clean up the environment, create jobs and strengthen these communities from the ground up."