As the coal industry has declined over the past few years, thousands of jobs have been lost. Policies like the RECLAIM Act can assist communities struggling with these mass layoffs in diversifying their economies, addressing environmental problems, and building a bright future.
The RECLAIM Act would provide an immediate economic boost through the release of $1 billion to reclaim abandoned coal mines. This money could put laid off miners—who possess the earth-moving skills necessary for reclamation work—and others to work reclaiming mines. Estimates from OSMRE show the funds would create at least 4,600 reclamation jobs across the country.
Reclaimed sites could serve as locations for long-term economic opportunities to create permanent local jobs. By empowering citizens in coalfield communities to turn old pollution liabilities into business opportunities, the RECLAIM Act could help create a strong, just, and sustainable economy in Appalachia at a time when the economy is in dire straights.
In 2015, the Omnibus bill included $90 million for mine reclamation pilot projects in PA, WV, and KY, based on the same idea for economic- and community-oriented reclamation projects. This "Abandoned Mine Land (AML) Pilot Program" was funded again in 2016, this time delivering $105 collectively to PA, WV, KY, VA, OH, and AL. As of November 2017, the AML Pilot is included in the House budget for 2018.
The RECLAIM Act was introduced in the House in February 2016 by a bipartisan group of legislators led by Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY). The bill was introduced in the Senate in December 2016 by a group of senators led by Joe Manchin (D-WV). The RECLAIM Act mirrors the POWER+ Plan proposed by the White House in 2015.
Abandoned underground and surface mines across the country have been leveraged to create thousands of jobs in agriculture, recreation, tourism, renewable energy production, retail, and beyond. View some examples below.
Examples of economic opportunities on reclaimed mines
The RECLAIM Act would help spur long-term economic projects on reclaimed mine sites. Abandoned underground and surface mines across the country have been leveraged to create thousands of jobs in agriculture, recreation, tourism, renewable energy production, retail, and beyond. View some examples below.
Resources on the RECLAIM Act
Learn more about RECLAIM by checking out these resources:
How would the RECLAIM Act impact my state or region?
The documents below provide information on how the RECLAIM Act could impact your state or congressional district specifically.* 2016 Figures.
- Kentucky's 1st District
- Kentucky's 2nd District
- Kentucky's 3rd District
- Kentucky's 4th District
- Kentucky's 5th District
* Estimates of how much each state will receive through the RECLAIM Act are based on projections by OSMRE, August 2015. These projections are calculated based on a formula that distributes $195 million per year, under RECLAIM, to the 20 Uncertified states according to historic (pre-1977) coal production. Estimates of the cost of remaining abandoned mines in a state or congressional district are based on data downloaded from e-AMLIS in March or April of 2016