WASHINGTON, DC (JANUARY 27, 2021) – Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO President James Slevin today released the following statement in reaction to the Biden administration’s executive order establishing the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization:

“Due to powerful economic forces, demand for coal has been down for decades. This is the reality our members face. The Biden administration’s executive order today represents forward thinking for an industry that for decades has simply locked its doors on our members and forgotten them.

“Coal plant closures are economically catastrophic for workers and communities. The challenges in moving beyond the impacts ranges from difficult to nearly insurmountable for many people. The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization President Biden proposed today is a meaningful and long overdue acknowledgement of the contributions coal plant workers and their families have had powering America and of the challenges these individuals face in the years ahead finding equivalent employment.

“UWUA applauds the Biden administration for taking these initial steps to put all agencies to work on climate justice initiatives. A true energy transition includes workers and communities. This is the right path forward and we look forward to working with the task force putting these policy formulations to work for our members.”

Chartered in 1945, the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA), AFL-CIO represents around 50,000 active members employed in America’s utility sectors including the electric, gas, water, and related professional and service industries. James Slevin is the UWUA’s National President. For more information visit https://uwua.net.