WVEC Action Alert

Public Hearing Tomorrow, Monday, March 7 on SB 1: Creation of a Mining Mutual Insurance Company

West Virginia Environmental Council
West Virginia Environmental Council
Action Alert

Public Hearing Tomorrow, Monday, March 7 on SB 1:
Creation of a Mining Mutual Insurance Company

Mar 6, 2022 View / Comment Online

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Please plan to attend tomorrow’s public hearing on Senate Bill 1 at 6PM in the House Chamber.

SB 1 has passed the Senate and is now awaiting consideration for passage by the House. If passed, the bill would require a transfer of $50 million from the WV Department of Environmental Protection’s budget to create a new fund called Department of Environmental Protection Mining Mutual Insurance Company Fund.

This new fund would provide bonding for high-risk coal operators who are unable to find coverage through private bonding companies.

While we agree that all coal operations need to be securely bonded, we don’t agree that taxpayers’ dollars should be used to shore up risky businesses. When House Finance took up the bill yesterday, there was testimony that $50 million might just be the start of the necessary seed money and $100 – $200 million MORE might eventually have to come from our state budget, essentially creating a taxpayer-funded money pit to pay for polluters’ clean-up responsibilities they abandoned.

Please come and speak out on this bill.

Here are some other concerns: 

  • How and when will the money be paid back, in actual cash, to the WV Department of Environmental Protection’s budget?
  • If private bonding companies are unable/unwilling to take on the high risk for these coal companies, why should taxpayer dollars be put on the line?
  • Why isn’t the Legislature addressing the bigger structural problems that get at the root of why the state is even at risk for getting stuck with polluters’ reclamation liabilities?

Reach out to us at info@wvecouncil.org if you plan to speak and have any questions we can help you with!

Thank you!

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Updated: March 6, 2022 — 8:07 pm

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