Delegate Joshua Nelson (R-Boone) intends to propose new legislation intending to crack down on the ability of the Public Service Commission (PSC) to approve rate hikes to electric power generation companies when changes to those companies’ structures are made in anticipation of rulings from the Environmental Protection Agency before these rulings become law.
Currently, power plants and power generation companies have been shutting down and converting power plants (in particular coal fired power plants) due to anticipated cost increase due to environmental regulations passed down from the EPA on what some believe to be severe and unreasonable, according to Nelson.
Nelson says these costs are passed on to the consumer in the form of hikes in electricity bills. Recently the U.S Supreme Court placed rulings against these proposals such as the “Clean Power Plant” rules and stated that the EPA overstepped it’s boundaries and did not take into account the economic and job impact of these rules.
Nelson stated that he believes that these unconstitutional rulings being passed down from the EPA should not allow utility companies controlled by the Public Service Commission to pass the costs of these changes to structure on to the consumer.
He said that, “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 Environmental Protection Agency. 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.”
Due to HB 2004, which is now law, the state’s DEP will have to submit any compliance plan to the legislature for approval first.
Nelson also stated that he will, “Do everything within my power to ensure that West Virginia does not comply with job killing proposals that the EPA passes on without it first being challenged at the Supreme Court.
“I will use every parliamentary procedure possible to shut down the legislature if this happens,” he said. “Several states have said they will not comply, and nor will we. 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”
Fred Pace is an editor for Civitas Media. He can be reached at 304-369-1165, ext. 1661, in Madison; at 304-752-6950, ext. 1729 in Logan; by email at [email protected] or @fcpace62 on Twitter.