A Marshall Plan for Middle America

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:23 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The Mayor from Morgantown joins other mayors from across the region to call for a federal response to save communities from falling behind.

They call it the “Marshall plan for Middle America.”

The plan is primarily led by the University of Pittsburgh and the city’s Mayor William Peduto.

It is supported by Mayors Peduto, Jamael Tito Brown, Nan Whaley, Andrew Ginther, John Cranley, Steve Williams, Ron Dulaney Jr. and Greg Fischer.

The idea came from the recovery period after World War II. That plan was to invest $13 billion to rebuild Europe and foster economic and democratic institutions.

The mayors got together with economic experts about the growing inequities, a public health crisis, and climate change. Like post-war Europe, middle America shares almost the same issues: aging business and government institutions and infrastructure.

They point out the the aging fossil fuel economy as it faces cost competitive renewable energy.

“We recognize that we are all not the same. Youngstown still has a fairly large manufacturing base so the way they think about transitioning might be different from a place like Morgantown where our primary economy is really our educational institution,” said Dulaney Jr.

The mayors say renewable sources of power are proving less expensive and fossil fuel companies are increasingly dependent on federal subsidies to survive. The mayors want those subsidies to invest in a green economy that keeps jobs and transition them into new industries that will grow in the 21st century.

They’re pushing for an ambitious federal response to save industries and communities. Their goal is to rebuild and reposition the regions to be economically competitive both domestically and globally. They stress that communities can be destroyed by believing the world will not change.

Their plan will cost $60 billion per year over the next 10 years to accomplish.

The full Marshall Plan for Middle America roadmap can be found here.

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