By February 12, 2020 Read More →

Editorial: W.Va. policymakers should help make renewable energy more attractive

From The Exponent Telegram of Clarksburg:

As supporters of an “all-of-the-above” energy policy, which ultimately leads to better prices for consumers and improves national security by making us energy independent, we urge W.Va. lawmakers to consider increasing efforts to advance renewable energy development.

This, by no means, lessens the importance of natural gas, which the state has an abundance of, or coal, which remains a critical force in the nation’s energy supply chain.

As we’ve said often, we don’t see a sudden switch to where renewable energy is supplying a majority of the power generation in West Virginia or the nation. …

The renewable energy lobby received a boost recently when state Commerce Secretary Ed Gaunch testified before the House Energy Committee on House Bill 4562. The legislation has the stated purpose “to create a program to further the development of renewable energy resources in this state for economic development.”

Gaunch said access to renewable energy is a top priority for some of the nation’s largest companies.

“Particularly what I will call ‘tech-based’ companies — names that you would recognize: Google, Amazon, Facebook — invariably that will be the first or second criteria or question: Where does your state stand in terms of renewables,” Gaunch said. “My feeling is, frankly, we don’t ever make the cut if we can’t answer that question in the affirmative.”

House Bill 4562 has strong bipartisan support, with both House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay, and Minority Leader Tim Miley, D-Harrison, listed as co-sponsors. …

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