Press Statement

Press Statement: Appalachian Groups Send Letter to Congress Seeking Critical Investments in Appalachian Flood Resilience Programs & Workforce Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 26, 2024

Contact: John Neurohr, jneurohr@clearpointpa.com, 717-364-6452

APPALACHIAN GROUPS SEND LETTER TO CONGRESS SEEKING CRITICAL INVESTMENTS IN APPALACHIAN FLOOD RESILIENCE PROGRAMS AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

APPALACHIAA group of 60 organizations and elected officials spanning the Appalachian region have crafted and delivered an open letter to Congress urging the support of crucial investments for flood recovery and resilience in their communities. The letter underscores the urgent need for decisive action as the region grapples with the intensifying impacts of climate change and increasing flood events.

The letter states, in part: “Appalachian communities are home to rich assets — including our land, water, heritage and people — and many of our organizations and local governments are working to leverage these assets as we diversify and strengthen our local economies.” It then goes on to detail the specific investments needed to help these communities cope with the realities of historic disinvestment alongside a changing energy and economic landscape.

Federal programs are vital for supporting communities through this period of economic transition. The letter urges support for federal programs investing in flood resiliency, workforce development and worker protections, support for working families, protections for coal communities, and economic development. It calls on Congress to protect these investments from cuts and ensure that the agencies implementing these programs are properly funded.

Reflecting on the importance of these investments, ReImagine Appalachia, Senior Program Manager, Dana Kuhnline said, “In order for new investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and other federal funding to be successful, we have to make sure that the agencies that implement them have the funding to operate. Investing in programs like cleaning up abandoned mines and scaling up renewable energy without giving the agencies the funding they need to implement them is like building a car but not putting an engine in it.”

“The problems that Appalachia faces are complex and interconnected,” Kuhnline continued. “We need a holistic, comprehensive approach to these issues, and that’s what this letter represents.”

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