Obama’s budget includes billions for coal states

President Barack Obama’s new budget proposal includes more than $3 billion worth of tax credits and other spending to help the Appalachian region recover from the declining coal industry.

The largest new spending would be $1 billion to redevelop abandoned coal mines. The money would go to states and tribes in $200 million increments over five years.

The budget proposal released Monday also includes $20 million from the Department of Labor for states to help workers who lost their coal mining jobs by training them for other professions and $25 million to the Appalachian Regional Commission to help coal communities develop economic development plans.

Republicans in Congress blame Obama’s energy policies for the job losses in coal states. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to continue to fight those policies by joining the budget subcommittee that oversees the EPA’s budget.

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