This report is the outcome of community listening sessions held by research organizations in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Wyoming to compile data and mainstream important issues and challenges pertaining to coal-impacted communities. It summarizes local communities’ work on these issues and provides an appendix of local organizations for policymakers’ consideration. It concludes by highlighting federal programs and actions that these communities have identified as crucial.
The report examines the socioeconomic impact of the coal decline on local communities across the United States and criticizes the lack of federal support to remedy those effects. It identifies key areas—such as local water and road infrastructure, healthcare, education, social safety nets, and local small businesses—that need federal funding to boost the local economy. More importantly, it calls for communities’ involvement in designing and implementing policy to ensure their knowledge and creativity are taken into consideration.
The report further describes key federal programs and actions that can be readjusted to provide resources and technical support to frontline communities. These include miners’ pension and health benefits, the Abandoned Mine Funds (AML), the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Small Business Administration, which provide grants to local small businesses. The report includes an appendix containing contact information for local organizations and individual leaders who can serve as resources to policymakers.