Lawmakers seek $1 billion for struggling coal states

AP News
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Posted: Feb 03, 2016 2:53 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Lawmakers from Appalachian states hit hard by a downturn in the coal industry are proposing to set aside $1 billion from a federal fund to use for economic development.

The House bill announced Wednesday mirrors a plan laid out last year in President Barack Obama's budget proposal that diverts money from a fund devoted to redeveloping abandoned mining sites.

Kentucky Rep. Hal Rogers is one of the bill's co-sponsors. Rogers says the measure has bipartisan support and was crafted with help from the White House. The $1 billion taken from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund would be used for economic development — tourism, infrastructure, new business — on or near sites that have been deemed abandoned mines.

Rogers says the funding is crucial to replacing lost coal-mining jobs.