HOUSE DISTRICT 51
Question #1. During the 2022 session, the Legislature adopted measures to broaden the energy mix in the state to include nuclear and geothermal energy sources (SB 4, HB 4098). Also introduced was a bill to establish an orderly planning and review process for evaluating these and other renewable energy sources for power generation (HB 3239). If similar legislation is introduced in 2023, will you support it?
Yes. I would, however, move to strike nuclear from the energy sources. I don’t have faith that the WVDEP will implement adequate oversight of the generation and waste sites.
Question #2. During the 2022 session of the Legislature, bills were introduced that would have authorized 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 (HB 2812, HB 2225). CWV supported these bills. If similar legislation is introduced in 2023, will you support it?
Yes. I’m all in on resource conservation and fiscal stewardship.
Question #3. During the 2022 session of the Legislature, legislation called the Clean Drinking Water Act of 2022 (HB 4055) was introduced. This legislation would have set maximum contaminant levels for what are called “forever chemicals” — perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in West Virginia drinking water supplies. It would also have created a PFAS Action Response Team to act as an advisory body within DEP, and required reports from facilities using certain PFAS. CWV supported HB 4055. If similar legislation is introduced in 2023, will you support it?
Question #4. During the 2022 session of the Legislature, legislation was introduced creating a comprehensive system to plug and prevent orphan gas wells in the state and to ensure adequate funding for the effort using well-specific escrow funds set up by the state Treasurer and funded by the operator (HB 4054). CWV supported this legislation. If similar legislation is introduced in 2023, will you support it?
Question #5. During the 2022 session of the Legislature, legislation was introduced to stabilize and improve the funding for the West Virginia Office of Oil & Gas, which would have enabled it to hire sufficient inspectors to cover the large number of gas wells in the state (HB 2725). The Office is only funded by one-time fees paid with the applications for permits for initial drilling of a well. It now has only one inspector for every 5000 wells. CWV supported this legislation. If similar legislation is introduced in 2023, will you support it?
Question #6. During the 2022 session of the Legislature, amendments to the Aboveground Storage Tank Act were adopted that weakened the inspection and reporting system for smaller tanks located in the critical zone along streams just above drinking water intakes. CWV opposed this legislation. If legislation is proposed in the 2023 session further weakening the inspection and reporting system for these tanks, will you oppose it?
Question #7. The West Virginia State Treasurer has announced a policy of using state banking contracts to punish financial institutions who choose to disinvest from fossil fuel industries. During the 2022 session, the Legislature passed SB 262 authorizing the Treasurer to compile a list of such institutions and to exclude them from competing for state banking contracts. CWV opposes this policy because it inappropriately uses coercion in the capital markets and may slow the transition to cleaner energy sources. If further legislation in support of this policy is proposed in the 2023 session, will you oppose it?
Question #8. Currently, no West Virginia State Park or Forest permits off-highway mechanized vehicles, including ATVs. CWV opposes any change to this. If legislation is introduced in the 2023 session to permit mechanized vehicles, including ATVs, in State Parks and Forests, will you oppose it?
Yes. I’m all for expanding outdoor recreation opportunities in our public lands, but we struggle to maintain our state parks as is. ATVs would exacerbate maintenance issues in state parks.