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First of all, in case you missed it: the Gazette’s Ken Ward got his hands on the Coal Association’s “West Virginia Coal Legislative Program 2015” and put it up on the Gazette’s website here.
As you can see near the top of page 8, repeal of the Alternative and Renewable Portfolio Standard was part of coal’s “program;” they assert that “the . . . thresholds of 15% by 2020 and 25% by 2025 could negatively affect the coal burn in West Virginia.”
Now, in last week’s Update, we told you that the House and Senate bills repealing the AREPS–H.B. 2001 and S.B. 1–had both passed their chambers of origin and moved on to the other chamber. Both bills retained the net metering portion of the AREPS.
On Tuesday the Senate passed H.B. 2001 without amendment, made it “effective from passage,” and the bill went on to the Governor on Thursday. If the Governor does not sign it within five days, the bill goes into effect without his signature.
As for H.B. 2201, which also codifies net metering, there’s a little good news . . . at the moment. Having passed the House on January 23, the bill was taken up by the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee on Wednesday (28th). In Bill Howley’s excellent Power Line blog post, he tells you how an AEP lobbyist’s erroneous claims about important language in the statutory definition of net metering were corrected by the committee attorney during the meeting. However, at this moment the bad language (“owned and operated” rather than “owned or operated”) remains in the bill. It is important that this be changed.
How you can help: H.B. 2201 now goes to the Senate Judiciary committee. Please contact committee members and tell them that the statutory definition of net metering in the bill should say “owners or operators” and NOT “owners and operators.” Bill explains why in his blog post.
Contact information for Senate Judiciary committee members can be found here.