Ohio River Valley Inst. blog post, April 14, 2021, by Eric Dixon, Ted Boettner.

For more than 150 years, Appalachia has provided the cheap energy that has powered the nation’s industrial growth and helped construct the middle class. But Appalachian communities did not fuel our nation’s prosperity without a cost – thousands of environmental hazards, remnants of our region’s legacy of extractive industries, burden our land. Abandoned mine sites and orphaned oil and gas wells deter development, hurt ecosystems, contribute to the climate crisis, and threaten the health and safety of nearby people. And in recent years, the oil and gas economy has crumbled, leaving many out of work. In less than a decade, the Ohio Valley Region, including Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, has lost 25,000 coal mining jobs and nearly 13,000 oil and gas jobs.

A pair of new ORVI reports describe an extraordinary opportunity to develop pathways to address the environmental and public health issues of abandoned mine lands and orphan wells, creating over 30,000 well-paying, local jobs in the process. Solving the climate crisis is a reemployment plan for the Ohio River Valley and an investment in the region’s future. The public investments we make today to stem climate change will protect our communities and ensure the health of future generations to come.

Read the reports HERE