CHARLESTON, W.Va. ─ Through the passage of various pieces of mining-related legislation, the West Virginia Legislature and Governor Justice showcased their support for coal miners and coal-fired power plant workers during the 2021 Legislative Session.
“We are so very grateful for the recognition displayed by the Legislature and Governor Justice of the importance of West Virginia’s coal economy,” said Chris Hamilton, President of the West Virginia Coal Association. “The mining and coal-fired power generation industries remain one of the largest economic generators in the state and state policy leaders recognized that fact through passage of Senate Bill 542, Senate Bill 718 and Senate Bill 677, among others.”
Hamilton noted that Senate Bill 542 addresses the critical importance of coal-fired power plants to West Virginia’s electric grid and economy. The legislation encourages utilities to keep plants in operation through their designed life cycle, provide advance notice to the state Public Service Commission of potential plant closures, and requires a 30-day supply of coal on site.
Senate Bill 718 restores and amends the Investment Tax Rebate Program which passed in 2019 to allow metallurgical coal operators to qualify for a rebate on paid severance taxes based on “qualifying investments” in existing mines or by developing new mining operations.
Senate Bill 677, presented by the West Virginia Board of Coal Mine Health & Safety and Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training, improves miners’ safety, health and training standards regarding capacitors used for power correction, electrical work performed on low, medium, or high voltage circuits or equipment, and the use of gas detecting devices.
“These critically important pieces of legislation will help the mining industry maintain employment levels while improving safety throughout our operations,” said Hamilton.
For information or to request a copy of the full report, please contact Chris Hamilton at the West Virginia Coal Association, (304) 342-4153