Civil rights and environmental advocates gathered at the Capitol Thursday morning for the release of a new national report. The NAACP’s Just Energy Policies details ways states can reduce pollution and create jobs.
The West Virginia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People suggested three ways West Virginia can become more environmentally friendly while helping low income families.
- Make its renewable energy standard mandatory
- Create an energy efficiency standard
- Expand net metering practices
Net metering allows individuals to sell the energy they make through wind or solar back to electricity companies.
Jaqui Patterson is the director of the organization’s Environmental Climate and Justice Program.
“Out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia, West Virginia ranked 13th in the list of state’s where rate payers spent the highest proportion of their income on electricity in 2012,” Jaqui Patterson said. She is the NAACP’s director of the Environmental Climate and Justice Program.
Patterson said low income families and people of color disproportionately pay a larger portion of their income toward energy bills.
By implementing their suggestions, Patterson believes the state could help the families who are hurt the most by West Virginia’s energy practices.