CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several new members of the now Republican-controlled House of Delegates made good on a campaign promise Thursday by voting to repeal the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Act, referred to many of them as the ‘cap-and-trade’ law.

“If this bill is going to work or not—to get coal miners back to work—if it has a chance, I will vote for this bill,” said veteran Delegate Justin Marcum (D-Mingo). “We don’t know if it’s going to work, but if there’s that slight hint that one coal miner in the state of West Virginia is going to get his job back, I support this bill.”

Similar comments were made by about a dozen delegates who discussed the bill for nearly an hour before the 95-4 vote. The state Senate passed an almost identical bill 33-0 Wednesday.

The 2009 law, which requires electric utilities use an increasing amount of energy sources other than coal over the next few decades, was targeted in last year’s election by candidates claiming it was curbing coal mining jobs and at the root of possible increases in electric bills.

Nancy Guthrie (D-Kanawha) was one of four delegates to vote against the bill Thursday calling itl nothing more than political theater. She said the state’s leaders must push diversification of the economy.

“We are running out of coal, it’s that’s simple. That’s why we have so many layoffs in the coalfields,” Guthrie said. “We are going to wear coal around our neck like a yoke that will drag all of us down.”

Delegate Marty Gearheart said the energy portfolio act was bad from the beginning when then-Gov. Joe Manchin introduced it six years ago.

“We told the country that our product was bad, coal was bad,” he said. “We told West Virginians that coal was so bad we should all pay more for a less efficient source of power.”

The state’s largest utilities have said they had no problems meeting the 2015 requirements of the law and those haven’t caused rates to go up. But House Judiciary Committee chairman John Shott (R-Mercer) said the 2025 requirements might be a different story. Shott pointed out smaller electric companies and co-ops that serve several communities across West Virginia may have to raise rates because they purchase their power from the larger companies. Shott said in 10 years the state’s population projects to be even older.

“Those are the folks are going to have to pay these increased costs if we don’t repeal this act, and those are the folks we need to protect as well as our coal miners,” Shott said.

It remains to be seen whether the House or Senate version of the bill ultimately makes it to the governor’s desk.

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Comments

  • Lil George

    Sure there is going to be crying from those who constantly cry. The important thing is that the right thing is being done. Jobs will be created. The WV economy will improve. It's not important anymore which party ruled WV for the last 80 years, what's important is how the years we are in now are governed, and the future. We see the result of the last 80 years and while some ppl don't like to admidt when they are wrong, it doesn't change the fact that those ppl are indeed wrong. I mean we see what condition this state is in, nobody can argue with that.

  • Hop'sHip

    The importance of this as an issue is reflected in the level of the debate that can be found here.

    • The bookman

      +1000

  • Earl Ray

    I'll veto this as sure as I dye my hair and have one very prominent tooth.

  • DP

    coal-You hit the nail on the head! Far Left Wackjobs such as Coal? will NEVER EVER admit the hundreds of thousands of West Virginians that coal mining has provided a much, much better way of life!

    Coal?, if you read this, trust me, coal mining will once again provide tens of thousands of VERY HIGH paying jobs to those West Virginians so desperately in need of them! You can take that to the bank! Or in the case of someone such as yourself, the socialist community food bank!!!!!

    • Coal?

      DP:

      Your comment made me laugh with pleasure. You are beyond delusional if you believe that the coal scourge will INCREASE WV jobs. HAHAHAHAHA!!!! One of the funniest things that I have read in a while. Coal is dead. Coal is dead. Coal kills. Get over it you blind sheep.

    • geology 101

      Do you realize how was created? Do you realize that it isn't an infinite resource? Do you realize that those "VERY HIGH paying" jobs are still temporary, but black lung and destroying the mountains are forever?
      To say that coal is the only way to make a good living shows a complete lack of common sense. We'll see how it works out it 20 years, when thens are the same as they ever were.

    • Roaddawg

      +1

  • mk

    I absolutely believe the WV Legislature would sacrifice the future of everyone else in the state for one, single, solitary job in a coal mine.

    • Roaddawg

      -1

  • why argue so much?

    Federal regulations have put more pressure on the producers which is why they said there was no trouble meeting the state guidelines. It seems the legislature repealed a bill that doesn't make a difference anyway.

    • Citizen 1

      I'm sure that the regulations will change in Washington now that the republicans are there, but anyway technically according to the constitution the feds only have as much power over the states as the states allow, so states are not obligated to follow federal regulations.

      • Hillboy

        Congress can pass laws but they do not write regulations. Regulations are written by federal agency staff and are intended to be written to fulfill the intent of the laws passed by Congress. Because the president appoints the agency directors, federal agencies are more responsive to the president than to Congress. So, I wouldn't expect wholesale changes in regulations because of the Republican controlled Congress.

        I know that many people interpret the Constitution to read that the federal government has limited jurisdiction over the states. However, the courts have generally sided with the federal government and obligated states to follow federal laws and regulations. Granted, some states find ways to get around federal regulations they consider burdensome by implementing and enforcing them in an intentionally perfunctory way.

  • Mountain Navy

    They were talking on national radio this morning how historic the WV election was. Not for 84 years did the republicans control both houses of the WV congress.

    The strange thing is the Coal union bosses supported Obama in 2008 after he said he would destroy coal.

    • ViennaGuy

      - The strange thing is the Coal union bosses supported Obama in 2008 after he said he would destroy coal. -

      And while they didn't endorse Obama in 2012, they also refused to endorse Romney. I guess they couldn't bear the thought of endorsing a presidential candidate not a Democrat.

      • geology 101

        Maybe because the GOP calls for abolishing all unions! Don't want to cut into the CEO and shareholder pay you know!

    • Citizen 1

      Union=democrat

  • Mountain Navy

    Guess the politicians got the message.

  • Robin

    While we are at it, let's put all blacksmiths, pony express riders, scullery maids, and milliners back to work too.

    • Citizen 1

      Technically that would be a good idea, at least we could have a job for everyone and not be dependent on cheap Chinese plastic.

  • WV Proud

    COAL IS AWSOME!

    • chica d

      +4

    • Citizen 1

      +3

    • Roaddawg

      +2

    • hey you

      +1

  • Coal?

    Coal is bad. It is a bad product that pollutes and its extraction kills workers. Coal and the coal industry is responsible for poisoned drinking water, polluted air that contributes greatly to pulmonary disease, reduced quality of life, and the destruction of mountains that have provided freedom and food to our people for generations. Nancy Guthrie is right - ignorant West Virginia sheep are blindly following coal, which, again, is DYING (thankfully) to its demise. As a state, we are last or near last in nearly all important categories, whether economic, social, health, educational, or otherwise. We are largely there due to the scourge that is coal.

    • RHytonen

      +100000

      and gas (& oil) are WORSE.
      What they're doing to the state to get them today, is at least as bad as coal.

      Though historically ALL the chemicals that gave the human race cancer came from refining coal tar, fracking uses hugely refined versions of them, developed over more than a century.
      And it spews them into the air we breathe, and leaves billions of gallons of them in and on the ground, to get into the water we drink- that is, the lttle left of it after they've added those unremovable chemicals to frack with it.
      The COLOSSAL, historic mistake here, was deciding to burn and depend on fossil fuels, as if they were in unlimited supply.
      And if there were not coal (or oil, or gas) jobs, we in WV would have found or invented better ones.
      Ones that didn't give our men black lung, turn a paradise into an industrial hell, and give everyone in our communities cancer.

    • Mountain Navy

      Well guess what the vast majority of WV people disagree with you. They want coal because they know it is a great resource.

    • coal

      Smoking kills too!!!!drinking eats away at your liver, fast food leads to heart problems, stress will lead to many different health issues, abortion also is killing, it is these same people who want to fight against coal who will stand there and support abortion all day long, they are so worried about the dangers that a coal miner faces, so we better go ahead and get rid of all police officers, fire fighters, military personal, because it is way to dangerous!!!! What makes me sick is they are so worried about the dangers of coal mining and someone could lose their life, is they will stand all day long and support these abortion clinics and what they call free choice why more baby's are losing their life!!! Than coal mining will ever take ! don't believe their is a man or woman working in the coal mines that was ever forced too, they chose their place of employment just like every other God born American has

    • General Lee

      Coal is what drives the WV economy. It's what gave your daddy the money to take your mama out to the drive in and hop in the back seat only to come up with your unappreciative butt.

    • Uncle Cecil

      Turn off your power and freeze in the dark, hypocrite.

      • lil andy

        Get'em uncle, get'em, yeah how u like that u hippo, turn your power off.

      • Jeff

        Yaawwnnn

        • Citizen 1

          -1, get off your knees

  • David

    With her comments today Nancy Guthrie has claimed idiot status .

    Running out of coal..

    If that were really true then the original bill passed by Manchin truly was political stunt!

    • Uncle Cecil

      Claimed it? More like reinforced it.

  • Normin Alaskerette

    For the former governor, this bill seems to be the political equivalent of a dead fish wrapped in a newspaper...

    • Roaddawg

      Yep, sure was.

  • RogerD

    Has the Governor indicated whether he will sign it or not?

    • WV Proud

      I think I read someplace where the governor was in support of the repeal.

  • Barry Bledsoe

    I was listening to the House live feed online when they were debating this bill in open session. I just about jumped out of my chair when Delegate Guthrie said "coal is a yoke around our neck. (Paraphrase) How dare she talk bad about coal, which has put millions of dinners on the table, kept miners and their families in nice homes, provided health insurance for hundreds of thousands and college education for tens of thousands! How dare she talk about the engine that moved WV for decades! Maybe SHE is the yoke around our neck!

    • RHytonen

      Because something happened doesn't prove it was right.

      Only the propaganda of those who are stealing our very land and leaving pison,
      and profiting heavily to send it overseas to drive up our prices,
      have -at great cost- convinced yu there was no other choice.
      Because the profit invloved was so much more than the cost of selling that LIE for two centuries.
      They even managed to buy the government, and take your taxes to subsidize (hide) the real costs of that scam - so now we can't AFFORD to use an alternative.
      In other words, the claim that we should stop using it is invalid. What we're MAD about is, they've fixed it so we can't. You should be too.

    • Bob

      Hey Barry,

      How did you vote?
      Oh, sorry I forgot.

    • Citizen 1

      As far as Guthrie, you can't fix stupid. She just doesn't get it, wonder what world she lives in. Must be the stone age with jeff.

    • hey you

      I agree, she is the yoke, her and Jeff, total gidgets. They must be part of Obamas evil empire that's out to destroy America.

    • Jeff

      How dare she talk bad about coal?? Your mindset is what keeps WV in the Stone Age. Sorry you're hurt but her comment is on the money. You should save your offense for the representatives who have no idea what the law actually does.

      • Roaddawg

        Well dang jeff, I thought it was the money from coal and all the jobs associated with it that kept us out of the stone age, now granted we do have a few exceptions, there are some burnouts like yourself that blab ignorance, but we hold that against you.

        • Jeff

          You and Barry should get together and have a good cry over all the meanies badmouthing your coal

          • Jeff

            Nah you've just shown us how little you know about anything really

          • Roaddawg

            Nah, no need to cry, much easier to just tell you little whiners how it is.

      • The bookman

        What, exactly, did/would the bill do?

      • hey you

        LOL Jeff you should change your name to captain caveman. I'm not sure you even read the same story we did. That bill was a joke, It has destroyed this state for the last few years!

        • Jeff

          you read the article? I'm impressed! The bill has destroyed nothing because it does nothing. Tell me, what's less informed than a caveman?

          • hey you

            tiss tiss now jeff, I don't want you to soil yourself again.

          • Jeff

            "Hey you" the answer is your mom. That should be more on your level

          • hey you

            You are!

      • Citizen 1

        Hey jeff, I'm not sure where you've been for the last few years, but where has the economy been since this bill passed? How much of an increase have we all been paying for electric? I'd say it's the bill that's been the yoke. Maybe you got your mind on the harry cave women because it certainly isn't on the modern age.

        • RHytonen

          We were paying bigger increases (electric AND gas) before the bill.

          But wait'll you see the increases after they start exporting GAS in great quantities, to countries that pay four to five times what we do.

          If you were sellng (our) gas, to whom would YOU sell it - and for how much?

        • Mr. Ed

          Your right bills have not gone up but jobs have been lost.

          • Jeff

            Chica, I'm not sure why you think I have egg on my face over this repeal. Are you even reading my posts or do you think you're at a high school football game?

          • chica d

            It's always the self proclaimed intelligent people who bring up grade levels isn't it. If jeff was so smart he would have chosen the correct side to begin with, but instead he has egg on his face and he's crying.

          • Jeff

            actually if you had the ability to think at a 3rd grade level, YOU and your mongoloid friends would be sad about the repeal. I know, it may be hard for you to figure it out.

          • hey you

            ah jeff, why the wolf in sheeps clothes approach? We all know the truth, just go boo somewhere quietly because you can't change it. The bill is going through. And if you don't like it, go sit in the dark.

          • Jeff

            There rate hikes have nothing to do with his bill no matter what "hey you" spews

          • hey you

            There have been electricity rate hikes associated with the destruction this bill caused.

        • Jeff

          So much wrong here. If you're the average WV voter we have problems.

          • Hey you

            Jeff I think you lost your panties with all this fussin.

          • Roaddawg

            Nah, we don't have problems, we voted all the problems out. Sorry you got offended by all of us Wv people but we seem to be right on the money. Mr Jeff Yoke.

          • Jeff

            What did I lose?

          • hey you

            I like these kinda problems, especially watching the losers like you squirm when you lose.