It is pointless to argue about what, or who, caused our planet to begin warming at an alarming rate. The fact is that global warming is real and we can see its effects all around us.

The task for us is to find the right policy solutions that will protect our families and communities and summon the will to make the necessary changes. Imagine how Teddy Roosevelt, who established our national parks, would respond to this situation.

The next generation of West Virginians will likely face the consequences of any hesitancy to act now. The heavy rainfall events and flooding, periods of intense drought, and challenges for agriculture that we see now will get worse unless we get a handle on this problem. And the U.S. military has predicted that a warming planet will create a national security threat because of worldwide instability.

Responding to global warming will not require huge, expensive government programs. It will simply take thoughtful policy, evenhandedly administered, that will produce a reduction of carbon emissions by individuals and businesses. After all, carbon dioxide is nothing more than air pollution and we know how to deal with it. We just need to get busy.

Our Climate Platform

We support legislation that will prioritize planning and preparedness to counter the long-term threat posed by climate change to the health, safety and prosperity of West Virginians.

We support legislation that would require West Virginia to reduce substantially its carbon footprint by 2050 by capping utility emissions, requiring state vehicle fleets to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles, refurbishing state buildings to increase energy efficiency, and other practices.  

We support legislation that will broaden the availability and installation of solar, wind and geothermal energy facilities in West Virginia through use of tax incentives and other means.

We support legislation that authorizes purchase power agreements between West Virginia consumers and non-utility third-party developers to construct and operate alternative energy facilities on the consumer’s property and sell power to the consumer.

2023 Climate Bills

HB 2119

Local Energy Efficiency Partnership Act

The purpose of this bill is to authorize local units of government to adopt local energy efficiency partnership programs and to create districts to promote the use of energy efficiency improvements by owners of certain real property; to provide for the financing of such programs through voluntary property assessments, commercial lending, and other means; to authorize a local unit of government to issue bonds.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23; referred to Government Organization, then Finance Committees

HB 2159

Community Solar

This bill would authorize consumers to buy shares in a community solar installation and reap proportionate credits against their utility bills. Rulemaking and administration by the Public Service Commission.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy and Manufacturing, then Judiciary

HB 2175

Promoting Use of Coal and Limiting Wind Power Projects

This bill limits the number of permits to construct wind power installations generally in West Virginia; provides that for each new wind powered facility built in West Virginia, there is an offset in the amount of taxes paid by new and existing coal fired power plants; and ensures that coal remains the primary source of power in West Virginia during emergency weather events.

CWV Position: Opposes

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy & Manufacturing

HB 2254

Natural Gas Electric Generation Development Act

This bill seeks to encourage development, transportation and use of electricity generated using West Virginia natural gas. It directs the Economic Development Authority to identify sites for generating facilities, and for timely decisions on construction by the Air Quality Board.

CWV Position:

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy and Manufacturing, then Government Organizations

HB 2260

Repealing Additional Registration Fees for Alternate Fuel Vehicles

This bill completely repeals §17A-10-3c of the Code, which imposes higher registration fees for alternate fuel vehicles that use less gas and pay correspondingly less tax to support highway maintenance.

CWV Position:

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Finance Committee

HB 2275

Intrastate Coal and Use Act

This bill rejects the authority of the federal government to regulate the mining and processing of coal occurring exclusively within the borders of West Virginia, and establishes that authority in the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

Sponsors: Gary G. Howell

CWV Position: Opposes

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy and Manufacturing, then Judiciary

HB 2593

West Virginia Energy Efficiency Job Creations Act

This bill would provide the Public Service Commission the authority to require electric utilities to develop and implement plans for the efficient use, conservation and reduction of electricity usage. The bill sets forth goals to achieve electricity savings. The bill also requires electric utilities to submit plans for reaching those goals. The bill also provides for a self-direct option for large electricity customers.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/17/23, referred to Technology and Infrastructure, then Judiciary

HB 2616

Revising Net Metering

This bill would change the method of calculating a rebate to customers generating their own electricity, relieve the Public Service Commission of the obligation to investigate net metering by looking at rules in other States, and require customer generators to comply with several national codes.

CWV Position:

Status: Introduced 1/17/23, referred to Energy and Manufacturing, then Judiciary

HB 2814

Creating Clean Hydrogen Power Task Force

This bill would create a taskforce of industry and environmental group representatives to plan the future of any clean hydrogen projects in West Virginia

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/19/23, referred to Energy & Manufacturing; passed out to full House 2/27/23; passed House 2/28/23; referred to Senate Energy, Industry & Mining Committee 3/2/23; committee amendment 3/8/23; passed Senate 3/9/23; approved by Governor 3/28/23

HB 2830

Solar Energy Production on Formerly Mined Land

This bill would encourage solar energy development on lands formerly used for mining and certain third-party co-generation projects, to provide electricity for commercial, industrial and manufacturing businesses or institutions of higher education or nonprofit organizations that are located in or will locate operations in West Virginia; authorizing the Public Service Commission to regulate the use of transmission and distribution lines to transport power from these facilities; providing that the solar operations and third-party co-generation projects are not regulated as a utility for providing electricity to these businesses; and authorizing the issuance of renewable energy certificates for renewable energy generated by eligible solar projects.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/19/23, referred to Energy and Manufacturing then Judiciary

HB 2852

Orphan Well Prevention Act of 2023

This bill seeks to prevent orphan gas and oil wells by requiring a fee paid into an escrow set-aside fund for each well as a condition of receiving a drilling permit. The fee would be based on consideration by the Office of Oil & Gas of several factors, including the actual cost of plugging, the well production schedule and market conditions.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/20/23, referred to Energy & Manufacturing then Judiciary

HB 2929

Allowing ATVs on all Paved Roads

This bill would remove the power from municipalities and county commissions to prohibit all terrain vehicles from paved roads.

CWV Position: Opposes

Status: Introduced 1/23/23, referred to Political Subdivisions, then Technology & Infrastructure

HB 3294

Excise Tax on Carbon Offset Agreements

The bill declares that any agreement to limit the development of land, minerals or timber for the purpose of carbon sequestration or carbon offsets longer than 20 years will be void, and imposes an excise tax on the proceeds from any such agreement of shorter duration.

CWV Position: Opposes

Status: Introduced 2/3/23, referred to Energy and Manufacturing, then Finance; passed to Finance with amendment 2/8/23

SB 109

Orphan Oil & Gas Well Prevention Act

This bill seeks to prevent orphan wells by prohibiting the issuance of well permits unless the applicant provides "plugging assurance." Plugging assurance must also be provided by owners of wells not producing in paying quantities. Plugging assurance is provided by a bond, a cash payment, or an escrow account in the actual amount needed to plug a well as determined by the Office of Oil & Gas

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Energy, Industry & Mining then to Finance

SB 162

Leasing State-Owned Pore Spaces for Carbon Sequestration

This bill authorizes the leasing and development of state-owned "pore spaces" underlying state forests, natural and scenic areas and wildlife management areas for the purpose of carbon sequestration. State parks are excluded. Leasing would be to the highest auction bidder. The Director of DNR can award leases without competitive bidding under certain circumstances.

CWV Position: Opposes

Status: Introduced 1/12/23, committee reference dispensed with, passed Senate unanimously 1/12/23, sent to House, referred to Judiciary, passed with amendment and made effective from passage 1/19/23; approved by Governor 1/24/23

SB 188

Grid Stabilization and Security Act of 2023

This bill would direct all state agencies to streamline their procedures to make the generation of electricity from natural gas easier, and direct the Secretary of Economic Development to locate appropriate sites for the construction of generating plants, providing several criteria. It would set time limits to expedite any application for a siting certificate before the PSC and other permits required for the construction of a generating facility.

Sponsors: Charles Trump

CWV Position: We support natural gas generation, but not expedited approval of sites based on narrow criteria.

Status: Introduced 1/13/23; referred to Economic Development; committee substitute bill 1/26/23; passed Senate 2/1/23; sent to House 2/1/23, referred to Economic Development & Tourism; passed out to full House 2/16/23; amended 3/2/23; passed House 3/3/23; approved by Governor 3/28/23

SB 27

Assessing Wildlife Impact Fee on Wind Power Projects

This bill would impose a replacement cost upon operators of wind power projects where protected bird species are killed in turbines and other machinery.

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 1/11/23, referred to Agriculture & Natural Resources, then Finance

SB 627

Community Solar

Identical to HB 2159. Would enable consumers to buy shares in a solar installation and receive proportionate credit on utility bills as if their share of the solar power was generated by panels on their own property.

Sponsors: Patricia Rucker

CWV Position: Supports

Status: Introduced 2/14/23; referred to Senate Government Organization

SB 739

Moratorium on Carbon Offset Agreements

This bill would create a moratorium of 60 days from passage on any agreements designed to prevent timbering for the purpose of biologically sequestering carbon. This ostensibly would allow the legislature to address the issue carefully.

CWV Position: Opposes

Status: Originated in Senate Rules Committee 2/25/23; passed Senate unanimously 3/1/23; sent to House 3/1/23; referred to Energy & Manufacturing Committee 3/2/23; committee amendment 3/9/23; passed House 3/10/23; Senate amends House amendment 3/11/23 and requests House to concur