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2011 Legislative Session Features New (Acting?) Governor
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by Chapter Political Committee | 2011

Legislators are only as good as the information they receive from their constituents! So get involved in the 2011 legislative session.

With the election of Joe Manchin to fill the unexpired term of Senator Byrd, the WV Governor’s Office will be filled by State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin. At this time, it is unclear whether a special election will be held in 2011, or whether Tomblin would serve until the end of 2012.

But environmental legislation will be considered, regardless of who sits in the Governor’s Mansion. Legislation to regulate drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale will likely be a top priority. The Sierra Club wants better regulation of drilling, tighter water quality standards, and tougher enforcement.

Other legislative priorities include:

Green Buildings Act – to mandate that all new government buildings be built to energy-efficient standards (LEED Silver).

Energy Efficiency Act – to require utilities to implement energy efficiency programs for consumers, saving money and energy while protecting the environment.

Water Quality Standards – to adopt a standard for Total Dissolved Solids, to prevent future fish kills such as occurred in Dunkard Creek of Monongalia County in 2009.

Sludge Safety – to prohibit discharge of coal slurry and sludge from coal washing into deep mines and to regulate existing surface impoundments.

Incentives for Renewables – to promote development of renewable energy in West Virginia, especially for home owners and small businesses.

Repeal “Beneficial Use” exemptions and regulate disposal of Coal Ash.

What You Can Do!

1) Contact the West Virginia Environmental Council and get signed on to the WVEC Action Alerts. This will give you up-to-the-minute reports of what is happening to our favorite bills, when hearings and meetings are scheduled, and who to call. Subscribe on-line at: www.wvecouncil.org/take_action/index.html

2) Plan to attend the WVEC E-Day, February 9, 2011. This is our annual Environment Lobby Day, so plan to come to Charleston and meet with your legislators. Call 304-594-3322 for more information.

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