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Please contact your House of Delegates members today and ask them to vote “NO” on HB 144, the West Virginia Business Ready Sites Program.
On its face, the purpose of the bill is to provide for the Development Office to designate industrial sites as “Business Ready” and encourage installation of utilities to make them more attractive for new businesses. This seems like a common sense idea, except that the premise of the bill is flawed. There are a lot of reasons industry is not locating in West Virginia, and utility infrastructure is not one of them. In fact, much of APCo’s service territory has excess capacity, and the existing infrastructure is under-utilized, if not stranded entirely.
More importantly, the bill allows utilities to recover their costs for these projects, along with a profit, whether the industrial development happens or not. In other words, even if the distribution and transmission lines are never used–never energized–West Virginia utility customers are on the hook to pay for them.
Please call your House members and ask them to vote NO on this bill. No more corporate welfare!