Climate Eye 2024 Session Wrap Up

       After a tumultuous 60 days the 2024 West Virginia Legislative Session has drawn to a close—thank goodness. We at West Virginia Citizen Action engage in lobbying ourselves and as part of a number of coalitions, and we want to say a big thank you to the West Virginia Environmental Council and all the other affiliated organizations for all the time, energy, and expertise they shared for the environment and people of West Virginia this session. We backed a lot of bills that didn’t make it across the finish line, but we will continue to work for solutions to those issues both inside and outside the Legislature. We also, with help from the political will and support of members like you, were able to help stop a number of bad bills. Subscribe here to receive E-Council’s more detailed wrap up, and keep reading the results from the bills WV Citizen Action followed most closely:


The Wins

  • HB 5018, the polluting industries’ attempt to restrict community air monitoring programs like ours, was also killed in committee after being seemingly resurrected with just days left in the session. We’re keeping eye out for similar bills in other states in our regional and national spaces, and will continue working with the DEP to use the data we collect to make West Virginians safer.
  • SB 688, which would have allowed for private contracts for timbering public lands including state parks, was also killed in committee.


The Losses

  • Community solar (SB 638) and net metering (HB 5422) were killed, which was a huge disappointment. We’ll be working with E-Council and other allies to build more political will for these during the off-season and in interims. The Public Service Commission settlement on net metering is, for WV CAG at least, a stop-gap but not a full victory, and we will continue to pursue options for codifying net metering to support a better energy future for West Virginia.
  • The Orphan Well Prevention Act (SB 532) also died in committee, likely because of pushback from industry. Follow [WV SORO] for more information and future updates.
  • HB 5091, the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, passed. It was amended to reduce fines, but still creates a dangerous precedent for limiting free speech and the right to protest.
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