As another reminder to Congress about the urgency of the need to act to extend the Excise Tax, three communities - Claiborne County, TN, Campbell County, TN, and the town of St. Paul, VA passed resolutions in favor of the tax just this week. These resolutions join the passage of resolutions by 32 local governments and representative bodies across Appalachia urging Congress to extend the black lung excise tax.
We are so grateful to local governments for urging action from Congress during this public health crisis, as well as to the grassroots citizens who worked to bring this issue to the attention of their local government.
It is past time Congress pay attention to the local communities they are supposed to represent. These resolutions are a powerful statement on the importance of this issue and must not be ignored. To see the text of the Clairborne County, TN resolution here, and the Campbell County, TN resolution here. The full list of resolutions, including many links to the actual resolutions, can be found on our Local Support page.
These resolutions join many other efforts throughout the year including multiple trips by retired miners to D.C. to meet with Congressional offices, the delivery of hundreds of individual postcards and petitions. This week nearly 50 national and regional organizations, including black lung groups, unions, and environmental organizations, released a letter urging Congress to act.
Despite these enormous efforts from their constituents to convey the gravity of the situation, Congress has failed to act, and the excise tax will drop by half on December 31st, 2018 if it is not extended. Miners and concerned community members are rallying this week in London, KY, Charleston, WV and Abingdon, VA to advocate for a last minute save to protect the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. They are joined by thousands of allies across the country taking action online and by calling in to their Congressional Offices.