Yesterday, The National Mining Association sent a letter to The United States House of Representatives urging members to vote against HR1731, the RECLAIM ACT of 2017, stating that this vote would be scored on their Congressional Scorecard – a not so subtle threat to their reelection prospects.
The Bill, championed by Rep. Hal Rogers (R, KY-05), has gained broad bipartisan support in Congress by making critically needed investments in some of the economically distressed communities in the nation as market forces have resulted in a reduced demand for coal. HR1731 would immediately release $1 Billion from the Abandoned Mines Lands (AML) Program for land reclamation, offering skilled jobs to unemployed workers throughout Appalachia and western states.
“Having grown-up in Western Pennsylvania, as the son of a coal miner, where un-reclaimed strip mines were my childhood playgrounds and the land remains fouled, I know the immense need to restore the land and employ those left behind,” said EEN’s President the Rev. Mitch Hescox.
The RECLAIM ACT restores hope for coal-reliant communities and God’s creation without impacting the Federal budget; it allows us as a nation to care for those who deserve to be thanked for their service to America and the past benefits to our economy. Congressman Rogers puts its well:
“I’m disheartened by the NMA’s opposition to the RECLAIM Act of 2017. The RECLAIM Act has been delicately constructed with thoughtful input from Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as our coal mining states in the east and west over the last two years. The RECLAIM Act is a groundbreaking bill that will finally fast-track available AML funding that has been idle for decades to spur job creation and reclamation where it’s needed most. A vote in favor of the RECLAIM Act is a vote to rescue coal country – and it’s the right thing to do."