Higher Registration Fees For Hybrid Vehicles – What’s Up With That?

Awhile back, a good friend of mine spent half an hour complaining to me about having to pay an additional $100 when he registered his Prius hybrid vehicle. That caused me to wonder why West Virginia would want to discourage the ownership of these vehicles with a whopping big tax.  Hybrids consume lots less gasoline […]

Industry To West Virginia: We Can’t Be Bothered

They’re at it again. Under the cover of the Covid pandemic, when citizens can’t rally in numbers, the West Virginia legislature is poised to gut one of the key protections of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act enacted after the 2014 water crisis. Remember the crisis? When 300,000 Mountain Staters had no access to safe water? […]

Purchase Power Agreement Bills Introduced in Legislature

Bipartisan support seems to be gathering around the idea of authorizing purchase power agreements (PPAs) in West Virginia.  A PPA would allow a solar installation, or other alternative generation project, to be built on a customer’s property and owned by a third-party.   Power from the installation would be purchased by the customer at lower rates […]

Harold Ward Appointed New DEP Secretary

Governor Justice recently appointed longtime Division of Environmental Protection official Harold Ward to be Secretary of the agency. Ward had been serving as the DEP’s deputy secretary of Operations and director of the Division of Mining and Reclamation, where he oversaw all operational components of the WVDEP, as well as the agency’s mining regulatory program. […]

America’s Newest National Park Is West Virginia’s First

Tucked into the omnibus spending bill that passed Congress at the end of 2020 was a measure creating the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. This is the sixty-third national park, but the first one in West Virginia. To achieve this was not just a simple matter of changing the name of the New […]

What’s In the New Spending Law for the Environment?

On December 27, 2020, seemingly at the last minute, President Trump signed the omnibus spending bill negotiated in Congress.  Much of the news has been about the pandemic relief provided in the law.  But the law also funds many new energy and environmental initiatives. The Act’s environmental features are mostly found in a component called […]

FERC Permits Mountain Valley Pipeline to Proceed

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, which seeks to transmit fracked natural gas from Northern West Virginia to markets in Virginia and North Carolina, has been on hold since 2018.  At that time the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated authorizations issued by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service for the pipeline to […]

Biden’s Pro-Environment Cabinet Picks

President-Elect Biden has named former Secretary of State John Kerry to be Special Climate Envoy.  Kerry will sit on the National Security Council as an internationally-focused climate czar.  Biden will also appoint a domestically-focused counterpart to Kerry.  At his introduction, Kerry stated that rejoining the Paris Accords will not be enough and that the world […]

Clean Air Act Has Had Profound Effect on Birds

In a paper released on November 24, 2020, researchers from Cornell University concluded that the Clean Air Act not only has saved human lives, it has spared 1.5 billion avian lives. The reason is the reduction of ground level ozone concentrations resulting from tightening restrictions under the Act. Ozone harms birds’ respiratory systems.  Small migratory […]

Denmark Agency Agrees to Investigate Rockwool

Local opponents of Rockwool have scored a big legal victory. NCP Denmark, a Danish government organization, will formally investigate Rockwool’s compliance with international business guidelines. The announcement follows an informal investigation that concluded enough evidence existed that dismissal of the complaint by the West Virginia opponents would be inappropriate. The formal investigation will conclude in […]