Westerners are all-too-familiar with boom and bust cycles in coal, mining, oil and gas, commodity agriculture and other natural resource sectors. Currently, coal production across the WORC region faces steep declines as coal loses market share to cheap, fracked natural gas, and cost competitive clean energy from wind and solar generation.

In addition, more efficiency in buildings, appliances, lighting and industries has decoupled economic growth from increasing electric demand, further depressing coal’s prospects.

WORC members were present when coal boomed in the Northern Great Plains in the 1970’s-1980’s and successfully championed reforms that protected communities and the environment from permanent damage, like

  • Strict mine reclamation,
  • Severance taxes and minerals trust funds, and
  • Federal coal leasing policy.

Now WORC and its member groups are working together to mobilize our grassroots energy and leadership to help direct and shape and lead the transition to a cleaner, more resilient, sustainable and just economy in our seven-state region.

News from Transition to Homegrown Prosperity

coops and muni disconnects

Rural Electric Co-ops and Public Utilities Should Halt all Disconnects During COVID-19

Most western co-ops and munis aren't suspending utility disconnects during the pandemic—with dire consequences for our most vulnerable populations. Subscribe to WORC's blog! During the…

renewable energy ITCs

Why Western States Should Support Extending the Solar Investment Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has been critical to kick-starting a clean energy industry that’s cheaper, cleaner, and provides more jobs. So why is…

ND coal powerplant

Dakota Resource Council Brings Coal Community Together to Talk About Economic Transition

Regional cooperation is the key for western coal communities weathering the coal market contraction. This post originally appeared on Dakota Resource Council’s blog. Subscribe to…