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

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. The collapse of…

just transition for coal communities

WORC Network Joins Coalition to Create National Economic Transition Platform

New platform offers strategies that will create economic justice and resilience for coal-dependent communities as the coal industry declines. Sign up for WORC updates! As…

federal stimulus for rural america

A COVID-19 Response for Rural America

Sign up for WORC updates! As Congress shapes the latest round of COVID-19 response legislation, our government must invest funds in the future that America…