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

reclaiming coal mines in the west

RECLAIM Act Offers Hope of Revitalization for Coal Communities

Advocates from Across the United States Pressure Legislators for Bipartisan Support of the bill. Subscribe to WORC's Blog! During the week of June 17th, 2019,…

Western Native Voice Community Spotlight: Summer Flores

Meet Summer Flores, Northern Cheyenne entrepreneur, model, recording artist, and visionary. Subscribe to WORC's blog! Summer Flores is an entrepreneur, a model, a recording artist,…

coal mine heavy equipment

Mining New Opportunities: Creating Resilient, Self-Reliant Communities in Coal Country

As economic forces drag coal power plants down, taking mines with them, there’s hope for coal communities on the horizon. Written by Dakota Resource Council.…