RECLAIM Act | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

RECLAIM Act

Whatever Happened to the RECLAIM Act? Mitch McConnell killed it.

We are two women who have different connections to Appalachia, but who share a passion for the mountains. Melissa grew up in Van Lear, the home of Loretta Lynn.  Her mom and dad still reside there. Many of her relatives worked in the mines, including both of her grandfathers. Rebecca lived much of her adult life in the hills of North Carolina.

Kentuckians are hurting, but Sen. McConnell does nothing

Kentuckians are hurting from the triple whammy of long-term economic distress, the COVID-19 health crisis, and collapse of jobs and income due to the pandemic. According to a recent story in the Washington Post, 1/2 of all adults in Kentucky have lost some employment income since March, 1/4 of all Kentuckians say they do not get enough food to eat, and 1/3 of all Kentucky households struggle to pay the rent or mortgage. 

Yet Sen. Mitch McConnell, arguably the most powerful member of Congress, seems to have turned his back on the people he represents, and millions of people in the United States.

RECLAIM Act, AML Pass the House as part of H.R. 2, The Moving Forward Act

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Rebecca Shelton
Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center
859-893-0543

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RECLAIM Act and AML pass the House as part of The Moving Forward Act

Kentucky will have a better chance at seeing its $400 million backlog of mine reclamation projects move forward thanks to legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 1.

Both the RECLAIM Act and reauthorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Program were included in the INVEST in America Act (a.k.a The Moving Forward Act), a broad bill addressing the country’s infrastructure needs.

"I am overjoyed that Congress is finally helping to clean up abandoned mines and polluted waterways," said Joanne Hill, a retired nurse originally from Harlan County now living in Pulaski County. "For too long, Kentuckians have been pleading for action with no response.”

Media campaign pushes Congress to act on RECLAIM Act and black lung fund

In January, KFTC and several ally groups launched a paid media campaign – including 10 billboards plus radio, newspaper and digital ads in central and eastern Kentucky – calling on members of Congress to stand up for coal miners and communities by passing a package of Just Transition bills in 2020.

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