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

renewable energy jobs

WORC Groups Fight For Clean, Renewable Energy in the West

As wind and solar build momentum in the marketplace, WORC groups push legislation that keeps clean energy competitive and fight bills that unfairly hinder it. …

halted coal mining equipment

Don’t let troubled companies leave Wyoming on the hook for coal mine cleanup

Wyoming needs to seize the moment and the reclamation bonding to get coal miners back on the job reclaiming Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte. This…

the transition economy

Fixing Abandoned Mine Sites is Essential for a Transition Economy

Amid coal bankruptcies, it’s more important than ever to use all of the available tools to transition to more resilient, diverse economies. Subscribe to WORC's…