CHARLESTON, W.Va. — On March 31 President Joe Biden unveiled his “American Jobs Plan,” an infrastructure proposal for America that includes clean energy initiatives. The West Virginia Climate Alliance, a coalition of environmental organizations, faith-based organizations, civil rights and civic organizations, and young adults, applauds the initiative said Perry Bryant, co-founder of the Alliance.
“This day is long overdue. President Biden is proposing to spend billions of dollars reclaiming abandoned mines and orphan oil and gas wells; extending high-speed internet to rural America; upgrading our electrical grid; and establishing a clean energy standard so that we move towards renewable forms of energy,” said Bryant.
Statements from organizational members of the West Virginia Climate Alliance:
West Virginia Rivers Coalition executive director Angie Rosser:
“The President’s plan presents a monumental opportunity to rebuild and transform our state’s economy and infrastructure in a way that meets the climate challenge and provides good jobs in our communities now and for the future. We need our Congressional members to make sure West Virginia is at the forefront of this plan.”
West Virginia Citizen Climate Lobby state coordinator Jim Probst:
“We applaud the President’s proposal to invest in the cleanup of abandoned oil, gas, and mine sites while also emphasizing the development of next-generation industries to be sited in our most distressed communities, which will work to decarbonize our economy.”
Corazon Latino executive director Felipe Benitez:
“We welcome the Biden Administration’s commitment and swift actions to prioritize environmental justice and take steps to meaningfully engage communities of color in the federal decision-making process. Today’s proposal will bring critical investment to front line communities that will help rebuild our economy in an equitable, resilient, and sustainable way.”
Leah Barbour, West Virginia chapter of Moms Clean Air Force:
“By addressing long term infrastructure needs and integrating clean energy initiatives into our economy, we can help prevent West Virginia families from suffering the fallout of chronic unemployment. Making meaningful investments in efforts that create jobs for West Virginia to restore our state – such as capping oil and gas wells, reclaiming abandoned mine land, or rebuilding our roads – is a win-win for West Virginian families and the environment. President Biden’s infrastructure plan prioritizes American families, and will allow us to improve our families’ health, grow our economy, and address the climate crisis.”
Created in 2020, the Climate Alliance has three goals for legislation addressing climate change:
- Legislation must address environmental justice to ensure communities of color are not disproportionately impacted by the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- To assure a just or true transition for fossil fuel workers so they are not left behind in this transition.
- To reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by a level scientists have determined are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change such as increased flooding, more intense wildfires and more destructive hurricanes.