Press Statement

Press Statement: Inflation Reduction Act is a Win for Appalachia

By August 12, 2022No Comments

For decades, corporations and special interests have tried to divide communities and exploit our resources, attacking workers’ rights on the job and dismantling environmental protections in our communities. They’ve tried to pit us against each other with a false choice: you can have good jobs or fight climate change, but you can’t have both. But that’s never been true, and today’s passage of the Inflation Reduction Act is proof. Over the last year, working people and their unions, community activists, environmental and racial justice organizations have come together to reimagine an Appalachia where we create new opportunities for industry workers and build career ladders for young people from all races and backgrounds. The Inflation Reduction Act is the result of our collective voices demanding that federal climate infrastructure investments provide a fair share of economic investment for our region and while lifting up the importance of labor and community requirements. Now let’s get it to President Biden’s desk.”

  • Josh Sword, President, West Virginia AFL-CIO
  • Tim Burga, President, Ohio AFL-CIO
  • Bill Londrigan – Kentucky State AFL-CIO


Contact: Virginia Alvino Young, [email protected]


The landmark climate legislation will reduce greenhouse gas emission, provide much needed climate, energy, and tax reform funds for long ignored coal-country communities

APPALACHIA – TODAY, on the heels of the Senate passage last weekend, the House passed the Inflation Reduction Act, ensuring the largest investment ever in clean energy, environmental justice and climate action. The bill includes roughly $369 billion to pay for climate solutions, which experts believe will reduce our emissions to 40% below 2005 levels, and will create jobs in every corner of the country. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act is a big deal. It puts the needs of working families first and will set us on the path toward a sustainable future that safeguards our climate. Especially for our frontline communities which are disproportionately Black or brown and low-income,” said Amanda Woodrum, senior researcher with Policy Matters and co-executive director of ReImagine Appalachia. “Appalachians support investment in clean energy jobs, and this is the congressional action that we need to deliver them.”

The bill could create up to 9 million jobs nationwide, and includes provisions to ensure that these new jobs would offer livable wages, good benefits, and a union. If implemented correctly, that could put hundreds of thousands of Appalachians to work primarily in the energy and manufacturing sectors, building out the country’s domestic renewable energy supply chain. 

Beyond giving thousands of Appalachians the means to support their families, the bill makes it easier for them to live a healthy life. By investing billions into natural infrastructure and reforestation, the bill helps protect our air, water, food, and sacred natural resources. It also permanently extends the Black Lung Excise Tax, which provides miners with medical care and living stipends. 

Funding for all these good things will come from where it should – by taxing the unaccountable corporations that have disregarded the climate and American families for so long. 

“It just makes sense to make the absentee extractors that put us in this mess finally pay what they owe. The Inflation Reduction act can set up our capable workforce  with good, safe jobs , and would help cut families’ household energy costs and provide a $30 billion tax credit for wind and solar with important labor provisions for prevailing wage and apprenticeships,” said Stephen Herzenberg, co-director of ReImagine Appalachia and Executive Director of Keystone Research Center. “I can’t underscore the importance of prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements enough – if we want to strengthen the region’s economy from the ground up, we must ensure that high road companies are doing the work in a fair and equitable way, and keep as many dollars of federal investments in our community as possible.”

“We must do everything we can to make sure this is the start and not the end of major federal climate action,” said Dana Kuhnline, Campaign Manager of ReImagine Appalachia. “We fought to get this thing passed, and now we’ll fight to make sure that the communities hit hardest by climate change, energy shifts and historical disinvestments get their due share of the benefits this bill brings.”