Mine Workers Union To Support Green Transition

Yesterday the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), America’s largest mineworkers union, said it would accept President Biden’s policies to transition the United States away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a “true energy transition” that includes thousands of jobs in renewable energy and spending on technology to make coal cleaner.

As the New York Times reported, “There needs to be a tremendous investment here,” Cecil E. Roberts, the president of the United Mine Workers of America, said in an interview. “We always end up dealing with climate change, closing down coal mines. We never get to the second piece of it.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) along with Roberts called for the creation of new jobs in Appalachia through tax credits that would subsidize the domestic production of renewable energy components as well as funding for the reclamation of abandoned mines that pose a risk to public health–which has the potential to create thousands of jobs.

Why This Matters: This is a major announcement, with a relatively small ask from UNWA: to ensure that fossil fuel workers aren’t left behind. Labor unions have often been divided in their support for bold clean energy goals, yet this is an acknowledgment that the green transition is an inevitable force.

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