Press Statement

Reimagine Appalachia coalition says RNC agenda raises questions for region

By August 25, 2020No Comments

More details needed about how Party’s plans will help Appalachia

ReImagine Appalachia is a diverse coalition of organizations from West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Last month we put forward a policy blueprint to rebuild Appalachian communities through public investments that will put people to work in good-paying jobs while protecting people’s health and the environment. Policy Matters Ohio is a founding member of the coalition. In reaction to the Republican Party’s resolution to support President Trump’s agenda, Policy Matters Senior Researcher Amanda Woodrum releases the following statement

“Our coalition’s mission is to draft policy proposals that create Appalachian jobs that pay enough to sustain a family in industries that protect the community’s health and the environment. The details are important to us, so we’re concerned that the RNC and Trump agenda is lacking in that area.

“After years of Big Energy CEOs exploiting Appalachia’s working people, extracting its natural resources, and damaging the climate, Appalachians deserve to be made a priority in any major federal spending packages. Trump pledges to create 10 million new jobs in 10 months, enact fair trade deals and protect American jobs. He says he will establish a national high-speed wireless internet network – something sorely needed in Appalachia.

“We eagerly await specifics about how Trump and the Republican Party would achieve these goals – especially considering a key part of their agenda is tax cuts, which primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Trump also pledges to ‘lead the world in access to the cleanest drinking water and cleanest air,’ a promise that directly contradicts his goal of continuing a ‘deregulatory agenda for energy independence.’ Trump has gutted many successful Obama-era policies to reduce the pollution causing the fires, heatwaves and storms tied to climate change.

“Lastly, we would urge Trump and the RNC to move away from the racial scapegoating woven throughout the agenda – from painting China as the source of all our economic and health problems, to excluding immigrants from health care, antipoverty programs and help with college. Neither Appalachia nor the nation will succeed if we leave people behind. That’s why our plan makes sure everyone has a place in the new economy – no exceptions.”