SB 171: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Unfortunately, the West Virginia Senate has adopted the wholly undemocratic practice of advancing bills at the opening of the annual legislative session without public notice, referral to committee or debate. Senate Bill 171, passed unanimously on January 12, 2024, is the most recent of these.  It is now with the House of Delegates.  If it […]

Solar Power Back on the Agenda at the Legislature

A bill authorizing community solar programs in West Virginia was introduced in the House of Delegates on January 17, 2024. The bill, HB 4834, would extend the benefits of solar energy to electric consumers who have no roof space, live in shady areas or rent their homes. It would enable subscribers to get a credit […]

New Energy Jobs Await West Virginia – If We Just Elect the Right Legislators

Anyone who has been to Weirton in the last decade has seen the shuttered steel plant, with its miles of pipelines, squarely in the middle of town. Now there is new life and hope in Weirton thanks to Form Energy’s long-duration battery facility under construction at the steel plant site. Form Energy represents the new […]

The Virginia Acorn Program – An Idea for West Virginia

This year, Virginia donors sent 12 tons of acorns and other tree seeds to the Virginia Department of Forestry to secure Virginia’s arboreal future. It is all part of a decade-old program to grow and plant hardwood seedlings in Virginia’s forests. The program promotes a natural remedy for climate change in that trees remove carbon […]

The Montana Children’s Climate Lawsuit

Montana is a lot like West Virginia – rural, sparsely populated, scenic, and dominated by coal interests. There is one significant difference. In the 1970s, Montana amended its constitution to create a right on behalf of citizens to “a clean and healthful environment.” That provision was the basis of a stunning legal victory on August 14, […]

Where Are We On PFAS Protection in West Virginia?

PFAS is an acronym used as shorthand for several related synthetic chemical compounds. These compounds have unique properties that make them highly stable and resistant to degradation in  the environment. For that reason PFAS are called “forever chemicals.” Recently we have discovered that humans have PFAS in our bodies through all sorts of ingestion, from […]

No Escape from Fossil Fuels: SB 188 Facilitates Natural Gas Power Plants

In West Virginia, environmentalists need to be realistic about how far the state can depart from fossil fuel power generation. Much of the state’s economy and many jobs are tied up in fossil fuels, both coal and natural gas. Currently, West Virginia relies on coal far more than any other state in the nation for […]

Land Use: Where the Action is at the 2023 Legislature

Midway through the fourth week of the 2023 legislative session, it is possible to get an overview of what seems important to legislators and their constituents. It is land use, both public and private. Several important bills affecting how we can use public lands, such as state parks and forests, as well as privately owned […]

West Virginia Has Always Been for Sale. Why Should Now be Different?

West Virginia has had one long history of selling valuable natural resources and public lands to commercial interests. When the dust settles from these transactions and they can be viewed without the hyped rhetoric of the moment, we often conclude that the price has been ridiculously low and the damage to our natural heritage catastrophic. […]

Join the “Go North” Corridor H Coalition

The Division of Highway’s proposed final route for the Corridor H Highway is the so-called “Canyon Route” between Parsons and Davis which would construct a massive concrete overpass with numerous exit ramps between the historic towns of Davis and Thomas. It would cross over the North Fork of the Blackwater Canyon, be visible from Pendleton […]