To Protect Coal, West Va. Governor Vetoes Bill Expanding Renewable Energy

"West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) on Tuesday vetoed a measure that would raise the allowable size for a solar plant operated by state utilities, citing concerns about its effects on the coal industry.

The measure, HB5528, would have expanded the size of solar plants the state’s electric utilities, AEP and Mon Power, could own, doubling it from 50 megawatts (MW) to 100. A total ceiling of 200 MW per utility would remain in place.

In his veto letter, Justice expressed concerns the bill would lead to higher costs for consumers and said it “can only further endanger our nation’s energy security and put West Virginians at the mercy of the national power grid to ensure we keep the lights on at home.”

“I fear this well-intentioned bill will further encourage these companies to drop coal-generated power and continue to turn toward more expensive options outside of West Virginia,” he wrote."

Zack Budryk reports for The Hill March 26, 2024.

Source: The Hill, 03/27/2024