Securing jobs for displaced miners – including the 7,000 coal industry workers who lost their jobs last year, said Cecil Roberts, president of the American Association of Miners. any infrastructure bill passed by Congress.
The US coalition of the largest coal mining companies on Monday said it would accept President Joe Biden’s plan to move away from coal and other fossil fuels in exchange for a “transition. Real energy conversion “includes thousands of jobs in renewable energy and spending on coal technology. cleaner.
Securing jobs for displaced miners – including the 7,000 coal industry workers who lost their jobs last year, said Cecil Roberts, president of the American Association of Miners. with any infrastructure bill passed by Congress.
Roberts said in an online statement to the National Press Club.
“We’re always talking about a ‘simple transition’,” added Roberts. “I wish everyone would quit using it. There has never been a fair transition in US history. “
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, appeared with Roberts at the Press Club event, saying measures to help coal miners in West Virginia and rural states Another must be part of a $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure package that is being passed by Congress.
“Basically what is needed … is human infrastructure,” Manchin said. “You cannot leave anyone, especially those who are in his hardship, where thousands of jobs have been lost in the mining and other resource sectors in the country. Lately year.
“I can tell you how West Virginia feels. We feel like we want the Vietnamese veterans to return, ”Manchin said. “We did all the dirty work you asked us to do. We never ask questions. We did that and it works fine. And now suddenly we’re not good enough, we’re not clean enough, we’re not green enough and we’re not smart enough. You want to know why they vote for Democrats, that’s why. ”
A scheme launched by a coalition of miners called for a significant expansion of tax incentives for renewable energy and a priority for the recruitment of demerished miners; full funding support for programs to plug old oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned fields; and continue to encourage the development of so-called “carbon capture and storage” technologies that capture carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels and storing it underground.
The union proposal and Manchin endorsement comes as Congress is reviewing Biden’s $ 2.3 trillion infrastructure package to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges and power grids, Promoting electric cars and boosting clean energies like solar and wind energy. A group of bipartisan lawmakers met with Biden on Monday to discuss the plan.
Republicans viewed the infrastructure package as a Democrat’s “wish list” with huge tax hikes, including a proposal to raise corporate tax rates to 28 percent. Manchin, a center and key to the Democrat’s vote, said he prefers the 25 percent company rate.
In his remarks on Monday, Manchin made clear that he wanted to conserve the coal industry, despite continuing declines across the country amid stiff competition from cheaper natural gas and other energy sources. .
“I’m for innovation, not elimination,” Manchin said, adding that even if coal falls to zero in the US, thousands of coal mines producing greenhouse gases will continue to operate in China, India and other countries. “That is not the climate of North America. It’s the global climate, ”he said.
As part of the miners’ proposal, Manchin endorsed a Democrat bill that would empower labor unions, after decades of court failures and failures to establish France. The House of Representatives passed the so-called “PRO Act” in March, but the measure faces an almost certain Republican blockade in a narrowly divided Senate.
The bill would reverse the “right to work” laws that limit the ability of unions to collect fees from workers who refuse to participate, but benefit from deals negotiated on behalf of surname. It also blocks tactics that employers can use to exercise organizational dynamics, negotiate contracts, and ratify labor agreements.
Manchin said the bill would “level the playing field” for union workers, adding that he wants to work with both sides to pass Congress.
Biden’s infrastructure proposal included $ 16 billion to plug hundreds of thousands of “orphaned” oil and gas wells and clean up abandoned coal mines and hard mines that seriously endanger safety and the environment. The White House says the plan will create thousands of jobs and remedy pollution, including greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Biden’s plan also includes tax incentives on renewables and billions of dollars spent on implementing carbon capture and storage, two other elements of the alliance’s proposal.