Western Organization of Resource Councils

The Western Organization of Resource Councils is made up of the following organizations:

WORC is a regional network of grassroots community organizations that include 10,000 members and 35 local chapters across six states. WORC helps its member groups succeed by providing training and coordinating issue work.

The issue work our member groups are involved in range from working on coal exports and the impact it has on local communities in Montana and Wyoming, to protecting the land from the impacts of oil and gas drilling in northwest North Dakota, to promoting clean and renewable energy right here in our backyards.

WORC’s mission is to advance the vision of a democratic, sustainable, and just society through community action. WORC is committed to building sustainable environmental and economic communities that balance economic growth with the health of people and stewardship of their land, water, and air resources.

Beginning in the 1970's, we focused on coalmine reclamation and natural resource tax policy. We won model reclamation and coal leasing laws and progressive tax structures.

In the early 1980’s, we challenged national energy policies and helped table the synthetic fuels corporation. In the mid-1980’s, we confronted the farm lending practices of the banks and federal government. We won credit reforms at the state and national levels.

In the 1990’s, WORC tackled concentration of economic power in a few agribusiness corporations, especially in meatpacking and grain trading. We also addressed hard rock mining reform, sprawl, electric industry deregulation, and factory farms.

In the new century, we launched programs for safe food, responsible coalbed methane development, and a sound energy policy.

Based in Billings, Montana, WORC has field offices in Montrose, Colorado, and Washington, DC. 

Climate work from this organization

With politics heating up, it’s time to take a dive into how political parties approach energy policy on coal and climate change in the party platforms. Here’s a quick take on the on the party platforms of the Republicans, the Democrats, the Libertarians, and the Green Party.

... Read more

1) As a rural-based organization, what role do you see rural communities and landscapes playing in the climate solution?

Many rural communities and landscapes bear the brunt of our dependence on fossil fuels. We see, smell, hear, and feel the impacts of oil, gas and coal development. A key role... Read more

Publicly owned coal accounts for about 40% of coal mined each year in the United States.

Yet, for decades, the Department of Interior has chronically undervalued our public coal, which has resulted in billions of dollars in lost revenue to state and federal governments. Federal coal management of this taxpayer-... Read more

Oregon Rural Action is working to host free informational workshops for homeowners interested in installing solar panels on their homes, helping navigate the process of solar installation and connecting homeowners with local installation companies. More on this exciting project can be found at the link above.

In North Dakota, Dakota Resource Council's members are protecting their water, land, communities, and families from the harmful effects of the oil boom in the Bakken region of northwest North Dakota.

Northern Plains Resource Council in Montana recently hosted a Chinese coal activist, Lifeng Fang, who addresses Chinese coal policy and its impacts on the prospects for U.S. coal. The audio from one of his presentations, along with many other audio recordings, can be found at the link above.