The Green New Deal, a pet project of more leftist-leaning members of the Democrat party, has been making waves not only on Capitol Hill, but all around the United States in just the few short months that we’ve been into 2019. Some have even pointed out that individual states have their own versions of the proposed plan already in place.
However, it is still feels that there’s a little animosity surrounding this plan, specifically from the people of Appalachia.
It’s fair to ask why do Appalachians feel this way? Because honestly, what will this supposedly perfect program do for the region, one that’s usually forgotten about by the rest of the country?
Some say that it’ll be great:
“In recent years, US energy markets have moved away from coal in favor of natural gas, causing coal company bankruptcies and mine closures in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The area “has seen incredible economic hardship,” Deputy Executive Director of Appalachian Voices Kate Boyle told Vice.
While others think the politicians who crafted it completely did so without Appalachians in mind:
“As I was thinking and reading about the GND, a couple things stuck out to me and, of course, one of them is that rural does not appear to be mentioned at all,” Director at Tennessee-based Center for Rural Strategies Whitney Kimball-Coe told 100 Days.
With so many different versions of one story being told, it’s hard to decide what to believe or even figure out what the laws our government are trying to put in place will be.
Between the record-breaking flooding we’ve seen in the past few years, to the general decline of the population’s health, an initiative like a Green New Deal in Appalachia is clearly much needed—and some Appalachians have tried to do just that.
Many third-party organizations have taken matters into their own hands because they feel that the federal government hasn’t given their situation the proper attention it deserves. For example, The Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition and fellow agriculture ventures have begun investing in alternative farming, like CBD and and hemp. Coal won’t be a feasible resource forever—shoot, it hasn’t been one for a few years now, considering the technology we have.
However Appalachians decide they feel towards the Green New Deal—should it actually even makes it to legislation—some sort of environmental action needs to be done here, whether it’s done by government action or outside crusaders.
For more on the Green New Deal in Appalachia, check out the West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s podcast on it here.