A Just Transition for West Virginia
A just transition seeks to leave no-one behind by coupling economic opportunity with environmental protection. Two areas well deserving of prioritization in West Virginia. Right now, there is an unprecedented opportunity to make investments that revitalize economies and communities, and repair the legacy of damage by coal to our mountains and rivers.
Last Fall, the bipartisan Coal Community Workgroup listened to folks from regions of the state hit hardest from the decline of coal, asking the question – what do communities need to succeed?
In January of 2022, the Workgroup compiled their findings into a 13-page report. What the report describes are the first steps towards a just transition. West Virginians identified clean water infrastructure; environmental protection and restoration; investments in outdoor recreation and tourism; and development of renewable energy jobs as priorities for the state dedicate resources.
We can have clean water, a healthy environment, thriving communities, and good jobs. And we don’t have to prioritize one over the other. We are worth it. We deserve a just transition.