Public Hearing

EPA Gathers Coal Country Comments about Climate Plan Repeal

Nov 28, 2017

The coal industry and environmentalists are squaring off at a two-day public hearing over the Trump administration's planned repeal of an Obama-era plan to limit planet-warming carbon emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding the only scheduled hearing on the reversal in Charleston, West Virginia. The state is heavily dependent on coal mining.

Steve Helber / AP File Photo

The Trump administration announced Thursday it will hold a public hearing in West Virginia on its plan to nullify an Obama-era plan to limit planet-warming carbon emissions. The state is economically dependent on coal mining.

The Environmental Protection Agency will take comments on its proposed repeal of the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, the state capital, on Nov. 28 and 29.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

The public will have a chance to comment on two power companies' proposal to purchase the Pleasants Power Station in West Virginia from Allegheny Energy Supply.

On The Legislature Today, during his State of the State Address, Gov. Jim Justice presented lawmakers with two plans.

The first was a way to balance the 2018 budget. The second, was a plan to raise more than $1 billion for road construction in the state through a road bond. Since, Justice has been traveling the state promoting that bond plan, but lawmakers have taken little action.

Secretary of the Department of Transportation Tom Smith discusses the proposal and whether Justice has given up on the push for new road funding.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing Saturday for three bills that, if passed, could send a number of West Virginia delegates to Washington, D.C. to try and amend the constitution on budget related charges.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the West Virginia Public Service Commission are considering a tentative settlement in a case that could have caused rate hikes for more than 221,000 Mountaineer Gas rate payers across the state. The settlement, according to the PSC’s Consumer Advocate Division, could result in an actual decrease of customers' rates.

Mountaineer Gas Company filed for a rate increase in January of this year, increasing their base rates by $12.2 million. That increase would have resulted in a nearly 5 percent increase for ratepayers across the state.

An agreement entered Tuesday morning says instead of seeking the 4.7% increase, Mountaineer Gas would seek a 3 percent increase or about $7.7 million in base revenues.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It was Tobacco Free Day at the Legislature, Friday. Coincidentally, the Government Organization Committee held a public hearing about smoking. Currently, a county board of public health passes smoking regulations. House Bill 2208, in its introduced version, would make it so only members of the county commission elected by voters have the power to regulate public smoking.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

The public has an opportunity to weigh in on a bill that would allow landfills in West Virginia to increase capacity to accept waste and cuttings from natural gas horizontal drilling.
 

The day after the House of Delegates’ public hearing on last month’s chemical leak and the safety of the water supply, lawmakers began the process of incorporating suggestions to strengthen Senate Bill 373.

While some speakers at the hearing felt that there were too many empty chairs at the hearing, Del. Don Perdue said the turnout from his fellow delegates was satisfactory.

Before sending Senate Bill 373 through its Health and Human Resources, Judiciary and Finance Committees, the House of Delegates allowed citizens directly affected by the chemical leak to voice their concerns and offer suggestions to the bill in a public hearing in the chamber

While the stories and testimonies were different, the overall message was a call to action for lawmakers.

Some of the highlights of the points speakers made were:

The House of Delegates' Health, Judiciary, and Finance Committees held a joint public hearing Monday evening about the Elk River chemical spill.

On this special extended edition of The Legislature Today,  citizens tell lawmakers how they’ve been affected by the chemical contamination of their drinking water.