FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 28, 2022
UMWA applauds Inflation Reduction Act
[TRIANGLE, VA.] Commenting on provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that would provide full and permanent funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, and other provisions that will provide much needed help to distressed coalfield communities, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“We are very pleased that Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were able to come to an agreement on legislation that includes full and permanent funding of the excise tax that funds the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. This will give victims of this insidious disease, their families and their survivors some peace of mind that the benefits they so desperately need will never be reduced.
“Senator Manchin never wavered in his commitment to secure the funding for this program, and he delivered. Thousands in the coalfields owe him yet another debt of gratitude, and the UMWA will never forget his dedication to getting this done.
“There is more to do regarding Black Lung, starting with the promulgation of a final rule to limit silica dust exposure in coal mines. We also must examine the entire Black Lung benefits system to make it more inclusive for victims, more efficient in the awarding of benefits, and to ensure its long-term viability in the face of a declining coal industry. The UMWA stands ready to meet with all stakeholders – victims and their families, labor, and industry – to work on solutions to these issues.
“We are also pleased to see that provisions were included in the IRA that will extend tax credits to renewable energy supply chain manufacturers that build plants in the coalfields, which will be a big step toward providing good jobs to these distressed communities. The enhanced tax credits for carbon capture and storage included in the legislation will also be a boon for coalfield jobs. We urge swift passage of this legislation by Congress.”