"Lobbying Fight Erupts Over Coal Country Bill"

"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."

Devin Henry reports for The Hill June 26, 2017.


"The Future of Coal Country" (New Yorker)

"Meet the People on the Front Lines of America’s Coal Wars" (National Geographic)

Source: The Hill, 06/27/2017