Johnson needs to support economy

To the editor:

On Nov. 27, I wrote our U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, to strongly urge him to support Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposed Select Committee for a Green New Deal. I outlined how Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal benefits America’s environment, America’s economy and America’s national security.

Additionally, I expressed to Johnson my belief that these green jobs should be directed toward Appalachian Ohio and other areas most impacted by the decline of coal jobs. We must protect retired miners’ pensions and health care. We must also create new economic activity that will replace any coal jobs lost due to the inevitable energy transition.

Ocasio-Cortez’s plan will: “take into account and be responsive to the historical and present-day experiences of low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm.” If that is true, then it is my sincere belief this plan will benefit Southeastern Ohio and all of Appalachia, which have been left behind and taken advantage of by corporate and fossil fuel interests for far too long.

Therefore, it is my hope Johnson will collaborate with Democrats, Republicans and independents to direct green jobs to the Ohio Valley and other regions that lost coal jobs. Our coal miners risked it all and sacrificed so much to keep the lights on and power America. Now, it is our duty to them to fight for their health care, their pensions and the 21st century jobs they — and we — deserve.

C. Taylor Myers