Kentucky has hundreds of abandoned mines that would qualify for reclamation under U.S. Rep. Hal Roger’s proposed RECLAIM Act. The law would call for the release of $1 billion from the abandoned mine lands fund (currently not being used) to clean up the mess left behind from abandoned coal mines and to help fuel the economic transition in coal-impacted communities.
As a young person in Kentucky, I think our legislators should be prioritizing both cleaning up our abandoned mines and putting people to work. That is why I am asking U.S. Rep. Andy Barr to support this important piece of legislation and help put thousands of Kentuckians to work in the areas of our state that have been hardest hit by the decline of coal.
The Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition believes in promoting a just economic transition to ensure we are creating local economies that help our communities and protect our natural resources. Abandoned mine land reclamation can do both of those things and help provide jobs to young people who might otherwise have to leave the region to look for work.