Arguments to the contrary, all politics are indeed local. When our representatives in Washington work to block jobs it is central to our lives and our well-being.
Rep. Glenn Thompson is part of this do-nothing gridlock. The energy and natural resources industry contributed more than $60,000 to him; he does not sponsor or support the RECLAIM Act. This effectively keeps unemployment up and job formation down. The Fifth Congressional District has an 8.1 percent unemployment rate, three points higher than the national average of 5.1 percent and 2.4 points higher than the average of the entire commonwealth.
The Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More Act will bring $340 million into Pennsylvania over five years putting coal miners back to work reclaiming abandoned mines and more than 5,300 miles of damaged rivers and streams. Ten of the 16 counties in our district are in dire need of their share of these reclamation dollars, these waterways serve our homes, farms, businesses, industry and recreation needs.
The Sierra Club, Trout Unlimited and the United Mine Workers endorsed this bill. There is no additional cost, no new taxation, we have $2 billion sitting in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund.
Kerith Strano Taylor sees this as an opportunity for all of us. A vote for Strano Taylor on Tuesday is a vote to put our out-of-work coal miners in real jobs restoring our damaged land, rivers and streams for future generations.
Theresa Lafer, State College
The writer is a State College borough councilwoman.