FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 4, 2023
UMWA’s Concerns on U.S. Coalition Move Against Coal Plants: Calls for Job Security Measures
[TRIANGLE, VA] In response to John Kerry, special presidential envoy on climate matters’, announcement on the United States officially joining a coalition to end all new and current coal-fired power plants, Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:
“The UMWA is fully committed to an environmentally responsible future that does not leave our members, their families, and communities behind. However, we cannot overlook the very real and immediate impact that such decisions have on the hardworking men and women in the coal industry and the communities that depend on it.
“Ambassador Kerry states that this initiative will ‘build stronger economies and more resilient communities, however, the administration has thus far not moved any concrete proposals for replacing the thousands of jobs that will be lost in the coal sector. To our knowledge, not one dislocated coal miner has yet been hired to work in the new energy sector.
“Promises have been made about not leaving anyone behind, but promises do not put food on the table or provide job security for our members. Hundreds of thousands in the coalfields have already lost their jobs in the last decade. The GEM report estimates a staggering loss of over 15,000 jobs in the coal sector per decade in the 2030s and 2040s. This announcement simply adds more heartache on top of the economic devastation that has already occurred.
“UMWA members and their families have for generations contributed to the growth and prosperity of our nation, and their livelihoods should not be simply tossed aside by promises made half a world away.
“The administration needs to step up its game and take real, concrete measures to immediately invest in retraining programs, education initiatives, and the development of new industries in coal-dependent regions. We will not stand quietly by while our members and their communities become stranded without viable alternatives.”