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Del. Josh Nelson to propose plan to stop utility increases, Clean Power Plan in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Delegate Joshua Nelson (R-Boone) will propose legislation intending to limit the ability of the Public Service Commission to approve rate-hikes from electric companies that would be made in anticipation of complying with federal regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, before it would actually become law.

In keeping up with the burdensome federal regulations, power plants and power generation companies have been shutting down coal-fired power plants. Subsequently, the cost of retiring these plants are passed on to the consumer in the form of increases in electricity-rates.

Most recently, the U.S Supreme Court stated that the EPA overstepped its boundaries to regulate mercury emissions and did not take into account the economic and job impact of implementing such regulations.

“It is unfair and wrong for the people of West Virginia to foot the cost of complying with something that is clearly an extreme overreach from the EPA. Not only do they regulate coal miners out of their jobs but they also ask them to pay more in utility bills as a result. This is outrageous and unacceptable.”

With the passage of H.B. 2004 during the 2015 legislative session, state Department of Environmental Protection will have to submit a compliance plan to the legislature for approval. Under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, the EPA requires that the state Department of Environmental Protection develop a plan under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act.

“I stand opposed to West Virginia having to comply with job killing proposals that the EPA passes on without it first being challenged at the Supreme Court. Several states have said they will not comply, and West Virginia should follow suit. I will not allow coal miners to lose their jobs over trying to change the environments temperature by a possible 0.016 percent Fahrenheit. Our power grid is vulnerable and we need coal to power America,” Nelson concluded.

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