Federal Reinvestment in Miners, Coal Communities, and West Virginia’s New Energy Economy.
As Congress considers bipartisan proposals to charge for carbon dioxide emissions, our congressional leaders should consider withholding their support unless the legislation is paired with a federal reinvestment in West Virginia to honor the contributions of our coal communities and secure West Virginia’s role in the new energy economy. Doing so can ensure that ramping up renewable energy and energy efficiency in West Virginia is beneficial for all West Virginians and creates positive employment effects not only through 2030 but also beyond.
Making the Ramping up of Renewable Energy Work for Everyone.
The ramping up of renewable energy and energy efficiency in West Virginia can and should be pursued in a way that works for our utilities, their employees and communities, and customers. West Virginia can benefit from the example of other states like New Mexico that are demonstrating how low-cost debt can be used to replace legacy fossil fuel power plants with new renewable energy facilities – all while listening to communities and delivering jobs and other economic benefits.
The West Virginia Legislature already took an important step in this direction in 2020 when the House of Delegates unanimously passed Coal Transition Plan legislation. This legislation would mandate worker and community input in a planning process coordinated by the W.V. Department of Commerce to anticipate and strategically respond to economic dislocations caused by coal’s declining competitiveness.
Please read the complete Supplemental Briefs in the full West Virginia’s Energy Future report