By: Hannah King & Lucia Valentine
2022 Legislative Priorities
The West Virginia Environmental Council works closely with our member groups to ensure environmental protections throughout West Virginia. We have been an active voice at the Capitol for over 30 years and have focused heavily on clean water, clean air and protecting our public lands. Here’s a look at our legislative agenda for the 2022 Legislative Session.
Prioritizing climate action.
This includes supporting legislation that encourages lowering greenhouse gas emissions and strengthening laws to preserve the environment and to keep our planet’s temperature from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Protecting access to clean and safe water.
West Virginians deserve a strong water quality standards rule to protect their health and drinking water. We will also hold legislative leadership to its compromise on Above-Ground Storage Tank legislation and protect areas of critical concern, as well as work to pass the Clean Drinking Water Act. Unfortunately, the tank bill is back. We will update you on this in next week’s newsletter.
Defending the voting rights of West Virginians and advocating for a fair and transparent election process.
We want to work to require the disclosure of dark money political expenditures in order to allow for public transparency as it relates to who is funding political advertisements. We also want to preserve voting rights and access to early voting days, as this was challenged last year.
Protecting public lands from damage from off-road vehicle use.
Last year, many resolutions were introduced to allow for Off-Highway Vehicle use on our public lands. We will be working to protect our public lands from the damaging and permanent effects of these vehicles.
Promoting expanded economic opportunities in our coal communities.
We spent many hours contacting West Virginians and informing them about the Coal Community Workgroup meetings happening in their areas. We are looking forward to seeing legislation that addresses the vital needs of these communities including expanded economic and job opportunities.
Ensuring adequate funding for inspectors for WVDEP Office of Oil and Gas as well as reclamation bonding.
West Virginia continues to face long-term damaging effects from our fossil fuel economy. Cleaning up after abandoned mines and gas wells could cost the state over $1 billion. There are not enough state inspectors to monitor all the activity across the state. The WVDEP needs adequate funding, and bonding needs to be in line with the potential damage these companies pose to our air, water, and land.
For more information or questions, please feel free to contact:
Hannah King – firstname.lastname@example.org, (304) 552-8116
Lucia Valentine – email@example.com, (304) 579-0434