"The lobbying fight over a House bill to revitalize coal country has heated up ahead of a key committee hearing on Tuesday.
Interest groups supporting the Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act, a bill to pump money into distressed coal communities in Appalachia, want to strengthen the bill before the House Natural Resources Committee sends it to the full House.
But a coal-mining industry group signaled its opposition to the legislation late last week, a move that could squeeze Republicans who might otherwise support the bill.
'We’re going to educate, continue to work with the committee chair, and we’re hopeful,' Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.), a sponsor of the bill, said. 'I think we’re on track.'
The RECLAIM Act, from Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) and a group of Appalachian lawmakers, would use $1 billion of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) funding over five years to kick-start mine cleanup efforts in Appalachia. The AML program assesses a fee on mined coal and creates a cleanup fund for shuttered mines around the country."