Climate Eye – Week 5

Solidarity to our friends in and around East Palestine, OH. We are working in coalition to address concerns and will release more information as we have it confirmed.

As always, please follow and consider becoming a member of the West Virginia Environmental Council, which CAG is proud to support as a sponsor, for updates from their spectacular team of staff and lobbyists. And please join us for E-Day at the Capitol to learn more about the issues, talk to your legislators, and more on February 28th!

  • Two versions of the PFAS Protection Act are currently moving: SB 485 passed Senate Agriculture & Natural Resources, and HB 3189 passed House Energy! As a reminder, those bills follow up on the DEP study that showed 130 water systems in the state exceeding PFAS health advisories, requires industries that use PFAS to report to the DEP for ongoing monitoring, and directs the DEP to adopt a water quality standard for PFAS based on the EPA’s recommended criteria. Continue pressure on your lawmakers to support reducing PFAS in our drinking water at the source so that water utilities and ratepayers are not burdened with treatment costs by completing this action from WV Rivers.

  • Things continue moving behind the scenes on community solar, a bill that would help thousands of West Virginians to go solar now despite obstacles, allowing individuals, businesses, and organizations to purchase or subscribe to a “share” in a community solar project. Show your support for community solar by sending your lawmakers a quick message with this action by Solar United Neighbors.

  • Additional funding for the DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas to hire more inspectors continues to move on FOUR fronts. As of writing, SB 448 Passed Senate energy and is headed to Senate Finance, HB 3110 is about to be taken up in House Finance, SB 13 Passed Senate energy and is headed to Senate Finance, and HB 2021 Has been referred to House energy. A reminder, OOG only has 10 inspectors overseeing approximately 75,000 wells and over 20,000 tanks across the state. That’s 1 inspector for every 7,500 wells. Please contact members of the House and Senate Finance Committees and ask them to fully fund DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas.

Additional bills to keep an eye on:

  • HB 2882 provides funding for a battery manufacturing facility in Weirton with $100 million+ investments in Form Energy caused quite a ruckus on the floor last week
  • SB 168 is out of Energy and onto Finance. According to this Gazette-Mail article the bill would exempt steam coal severed after March 31, 2023, and sold for electricity generation to an in-state coal-fired plant from the severance tax. “The fiscal note projects losses for the state’s General Revenue Fund of approximately $3.5 million in fiscal year 2023 and between $22-24 million in subsequent fiscal years.”
  • House Resolution 12 passed last week encouraging Mon Power to buy Pleasants Power Station – “As the legal representative of ratepayers, no thank you,” the Consumer Advocate Division said in an October 2017 filing.
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