Rural Action Director of Northern Programs Marissa Lautzenheiser testified to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources on March 18 in a hearing about the RECLAIM Act and Reauthorization of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

“My grandfather delivered coal to homes, and my great-grandfather was a miner in the exact same mines that Rural Action is now working to clean up,” Marissa told the lawmakers. “My privileges of an education, a safe home, and food on my table came in part because of the hard work of my family members in the coal industry and the rich natural resources of our region. I want my son to have the same opportunity to pursue a career tied to the ample natural resources of our home.”

To watch Marissa’s testimony, click the video link below:

If you prefer to read the text of her testimony, here’s a link:

During the hearing, Marissa was asked about the economic opportunities associated with ecotourism. In the video clip below, she discusses the economic diversity these initiatives create and discusses the Baileys Trail System.