WVEC Action Alert

Down the home stretch: please help us get across the finish line!

West Virginia Environmental Council
Action Alert
Mar 7, 2016 View / Comment Online Donate
H.B. 4435 is on the agenda of the Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday).  This bill would allow utilities to obtain “expedited rate recovery” for upgrades to boilers (the normal practice is that such upgrades must be “used and useful” before the costs can be incorporated into electric rates paid by consumers). It would expand the types of costs that could be recovered, allow rate recovery with just an “application” (avoiding a lot of the evidentiary hearings and opportunities for ratepayers to challenge those costs), and allow utilities to recover costs for merely proposing an upgrade, even if nothing is ever actually built.  We oppose the bill because it is just another excuse by out-of-state corporations to gouge local ratepayers.  Please contact committee members and tell them to VOTE NO!

S.B. 601 would make it easier to site and build landfills for drilling waste, because there would no longer be a requirement for a certificate of need from the WV Public Service Commission.

The bill also removes from PSC regulation two types of recycling facilities: “materials recovery facilities and “mixed waste processing facilities.”  Local and regional solid waste authorities, which have invested public funds into facilities of their own, are concerned that passage of this bill will put them at a competitive disadvantage with the deregulated facilities.

The bill will be up for passage in the House of Delegates on Wednesday.  Please contact delegates and tell them to VOTE NO!

Remember that S.B. 625 provides that, when public water utilities involve the public in developing their source water protection plans, they are allowed to share information that is already in the public domain.  The bill will be up for passage in the House on Thursday.  Please ask Delegates to VOTE YES!  WV Rivers’ fact sheet is here.

Contact info for individual delegates is here, and a handy copy-and-paste e-mail list is here.

S.B. 508 takes away West Virginians’ ability to file a nuisance lawsuit as long as the offender is not violating a permit or law.  So when someone makes your life miserable, say a drilling platform next to your home that makes noise and keeps bright lights on all night, you would have no recourse as long as they aren’t violating their permit, which would have no provisions pertaining to things like noise, dust and light.

The bill currently sits in the House Judiciary Committee.  Please contact Committee members and tell them NOT to take away Mountaineers’ freedom to sue when someone makes our lives miserable; tell them NOT to advance this bill!

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