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

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. Subscribe to WORC's blog! As the…

federal stimulus for rural america

A COVID-19 Response for Rural America

As Congress shapes the latest round of COVID-19 response legislation, our government must invest funds in the future that America needs. We’ve worked with our members…

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…