The $55 million in transition funding for coal mining communities in President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal will be essential in West Virginia and Kentucky counties where coal accounts for up to 40% of the work force.
“The plan would provide $55 million for programs to help communities diversify their economies, attract new investment, provide job training, and create new jobs,” writes NRDC Executive Director Peter Lehner.
“By providing key resources for communities at risk, the President’s proposed budget would help ensure that the transition to healthier, cleaner sources of energy is successful—and that everyone can be a part of the clean energy future.”
Lehner says the transition funding could dovetail nicely with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) concerns for coal communities in his state. Republicans “can work with the president to help those communities invest in their future,” he says. “Or they can continue to treat them as hostages in their battle to block climate action.”