2009 Legislative Priorities in West Virginia
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by Jim Kotcon, Energy Committee Chair |
Energy Issues top the legislative priorities of the Chapter and the WV Environmental Council
Several major environmental initiatives will be sought in the 2009 session of the WV Legislature. West Virginia Sierra Club will again be working with the West Virginia Environmental Council to present a united front in the Legislature. Top priorities include:
A Green Buildings Act would mandate that all state funded buildings be LEEDcertified. This will enhance energy conservation, improve indoor air quality, reduce waste, and provide a healthier work place. Most importantly, it saves a tremendous amount of money over the life of the buildings. Tell legislators, “A Vote Against Green Buildings is a Vote For Government Waste”.
The Renewables Portfolio Standard would mandate that utilities supply at least 20 % of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Several other states already have similar andates.
The Energy Efficiency Act is modeled after the “Empower Maryland” Act. It would set a state goal of reducing electricity demand by 15 % by 2015, and require utilities to present plans to the Public Service Commission to meet this goal.
PSC Reform. This bill would reform the siting processes of the Public Service Commission, mandating improved public notification for power plants and transmission lines, return balance to the Certificate of Need process, so that utilities would actually have to demonstrate that facilities are needed by West Virginia, and set standards for scenic protection, property owners rights, and other environmental impacts.
Other legislative initiatives will include clean vehicle standards, incentives for renewable energy installation, improved DEP oversight, a Bottle Bill, Election Reform, and a requirement for public health impact statements for DEP rules. We will also be opposing proposals for Coal-To-Liquids plants, and transmission taxes.
For more information, visit the West Virginia Environmental Council at www.wvecouncil.org or contact Jim Kotcon at 304-594-3322