Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Press Contact: 
Jerry Hardt
Communications Director
502-589-3188

KFTC Statement on RECLAIM Act committee passage

KFTC members applaud the restoration of economic development and community engagement provisions to the RECLAIM Act prior to it passage by the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday. Those provisions are key to making the legislation part of a Just Transition strategy for eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia.

The action recognizes the importance of federal government involvement in helping coalfield communities develop new economic activity and jobs, and the necessity of involvement by local residents in shaping the next economy.

This initial victory is the result of several years of grassroots efforts to get Congress to pay attention to the proposal. In 2015 and early 2016, 28 fiscal courts, city councils and other governing bodies in eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia passed resolutions supporting RECLAIM legislation. U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers took note and introduced the first RECLAIM Act in February 2016.

KFTC is appreciative of the efforts of U.S. Rep Hal Rogers, sponsor of H.R. 1731, and Rep. Don Beyers (D-Va) who introduced the committee amendment.

It’s time for all of Kentucky’s congressional delegation to get behind the RECLAIM Act by asking House leadership to quickly bring the bill to the floor for a vote, and then voting yes.

KFTC Member Quotes

Sarah Bowling, KFTC member from Pike County, living in Lexington. She's traveled to Washington DC several times to lobby for RECLAIM legislation

“This is a victory for Appalachia and a big day for Kentucky and those communities suffering from the decline of coal. It priorities the economic development that we really need in eastern Kentucky.”

“It’s really empowering because it was a community-led movement, the culmination of months and months of work. We were really pushing for that amendment. The whole purpose of this bill is economic development.”