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WVU Law experts participate in Brookings Institution workshop on coal communities

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA – Two experts from  West Virginia University recently participated in a workshop at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, to discuss the future of coal workers and their communities.

Rochelle Goodwin, WVU senior associate vice president, moderated a panel discussion on the current conditions and pressing needs of coal communities. She is the former director of state operations for Senator John D. “Jay” Rockefeller and a 2000 graduate of WVU Law.

Law Professor Jamie Van Nostrand

Law professor  James Van Nostrand (left), who serves as director of WVU’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development, discussed the trends and outlooks faced by coal workers and their communities.

Organized by Brookings and Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, the workshop also included experts from the White House, the Energy Information Administration, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Urban Institute, and the United Mine Workers Association. Rockefeller was a guest speaker.

According to Van Nostrand, there is increasing recognition of the need to address the impacts of national energy and environmental policies on the coal-reliant regions of the country, such as West Virginia.

“President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget included several programs directed at coal mining communities, and Secretary Hillary Clinton released a $30 billion program last week focused on these issues,” he said. “As federal policymakers begin to craft programs to provide assistance to communities affected by decreased coal mining, it is important that West Virginia have a seat at the table.”

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions. Its mission is to conduct high-quality, independent research and, based on that research, to provide innovative, practical recommendations for policymakers and the public.

WVU Law’s annual energy conference on April 8, 2016, will focus on programs directed at the future of coal workers and their communities. The conference is jointly presented by the Center for Energy and Sustainable Development and WVU’s  Rockefeller School of Policy and Politics.



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