NET in the News
Momentum for the National Economic Transition (NET) platform continues to build following our launch this summer. The grassroots coalition that built this platform from the ground up made news nationally and in coal country, and we’re thrilled to see support come in from key legislators in Congress, where action is required to advance the policy solutions in the platform more urgently than ever before.
The economic decline spurred by COVID-19 has made the urgency of acting on a just transition crystal clear. Coal usage has plummeted since the pandemic hit, accelerating a decline that was already creating crises for communities that once relied on coal. Right now, coal facilities are closing with no time for communities to plan as their largest employers and revenue generators vanish virtually overnight.
It is an urgent crisis that demands solutions—and we’re proud that our partners are making the case all over the country for the community-driven solutions that make up our platform. Over the last few months, opinion pages in coal community publications have featured prominent voices promoting the NET platform, and we want to highlight them here. As more and more attention turns to the need for a coordinated national economic transition amid coal’s decline, this burgeoning nationwide support will only continue to grow.
We are proud to announce that we are ready to share our work today as we unveil the National Economic Transition platform. This platform — supported by 80 organizations and leaders — shows federal and national policymakers the clear path forward with which they can develop the community-powered national transition program that our communities need and deserve.
From here in Appalachia to Wyoming to the Navajo Nation, leaders from communities that once relied on coal are developing and implementing promising solutions to create inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth, driven from the ground up. These leaders need supportive public policy and investment at the local, state and federal level to accelerate this work of building a new economy.”
Those most affected by coal’s collapse don’t have to be collateral damage in the transition to renewable energy; we can be the leaders of an entirely new and better economy. In fact, I believe Appalachians have the exact skills our country will need to remain globally competitive in this new, more sustainable economy. We make, fix, build, and grow. And coal’s decline creates whole new opportunities for a new generation of Appalachian entrepreneurs. The NET platform ensures proper investment in these new opportunities, so the next generation can grow up in a healthy, thriving community.”
Anthony Flaccavento, President of Mountain Association, in the Roanoke Times:
A serious transition commitment won’t come cheap, but we owe it to the miners and coal industry workers, who powered our nation’s prosperity, yet saw so little of it themselves. And we owe it to the world to show that tackling climate change and improving public health no longer must come at the expense of farmers, miners, workers and their communities.”
This is just the start. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be announcing new initiatives to promote the NET platform and new supporters, so stay tuned to this space for more.