grassroots energy
Tom Abe in front of his solar-powered home. Abe was an advocate for energy sovereignty on the Ft Berthold Reservation through microgrids

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.

Never miss an opportunity to make the West a healthier and more sustainable place to call home.

News from Transition to Homegrown Prosperity

rural grassroots organizing impacts

2022 WORC year in review

WORC celebrates a big year for grassroots community organizing in the West. See full-size graphic here. As 2022 winds its way to a close, we…

energy sovereignty

A Vision for Tribal Sovereignty through Sustainable Energy

Above: Wes Davis stands in front of Turtle Mountain Community College which runs almost exclusively on clean, renewable energy. It may be a blueprint for…

coal reclamation jobs

New Report Shows Thousands of Jobs Can be Created Through Coal Mine Reclamation

WORC's new report highlights how, as the coal industry collapses, mine reclamation jobs will be vital to the transition of coal communities. Sign up for…