H. B. 2286
(By Delegates Skaff, Ferro, Stowers and Hamilton)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §5B-2F-2 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to permitting the Division of
Energy to develop an energy related public relations campaign
focused on educating Washington, D.C., about West Virginia
coal and its positive impact on the eastern seaboard.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §5B-2F-2 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2F. DIVISION OF ENERGY.
.§5B-2F-2. Purpose; office of Director for Energy Development;
director to be member of Public Energy Authority;
division to develop energy policy and development
plan; contents of energy policy and development plan;
and division to promote energy initiatives.
(a) Effective July 1, 2007, the Division of Energy is created
as a state agency under the Department of Commerce. The division
may receive federal funds. The division shall be administered by
a director, who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the
advice and consent of the Senate, and shall continue to serve until
his or her successor is appointed and qualified as provided. The
director shall be selected with special preference and
consideration given to his or her training, experience, capacity
and interest in energy policy and development activities.
(b) Creation of the division is intended to provide leadership
for developing energy policies emphasizing the increased efficiency
of energy use, the increased development and production of new and
existing domestic energy sources, the increased awareness of energy
use on the environment and the economy, dependable, efficient and
economical statewide energy systems capable of supporting the needs
of the state, increased energy self-sufficiency where the ratio of
indigenous to imported energy use is increased, reduce the ratio
energy consumption to economic activity and maintain low-cost
energy. The energy policies and development plans shall also
provide direction for the private sector.
(c) The director shall administer the daily operations of the
Public Energy Authority provided under the provisions of chapter
five-d of this code. The director shall also have authority over
the Office of Coalfield Community Development, created by the provisions of article two-a of this chapter, and the energy
efficiency program existing under the West Virginia Development
Office which are hereby transferred to the division. The director
shall effectuate coordination of these entities relative to the
purposes provided in this article.
(d) The division shall develop an energy policy and shall
report the same back to the Governor and the Joint Committee on
Government and Finance before December 1, 2007. The energy policy
shall be a five-year plan setting forth the state's energy policies
and shall provide a direction for the private sector. Prior to the
expiration of the energy policy, the division shall begin review of
the policy and submit a revised energy policy to the Governor and
the Joint Committee on Government and Finance six months before the
expiration of the policy.
(e) The director shall be a member of the Public Energy
Authority and as such shall attend and participate in all official
meetings and public hearings conducted under the auspices of the
(f) The division shall prepare and submit an annual energy
development plan to the Governor and the Joint Committee on
Government and Finance on or before December 1 of each year. The
development plan shall relate to the division's implementation of
the energy policy and the activities of the division during the
previous year. The development plan shall include any recommended legislation. The Public Energy Authority, the Office of Coalfield
Community Development, the energy efficiency program, the
Department of Environmental Protection and the Public Service
Commission, in addition to their other duties prescribed by this
code, shall assist the division and the director in the development
of an energy policy and related development plans. The energy
development plan shall set forth the plans for implementing the
state's energy policy and shall provide a direction for the private
sector. The energy development plan shall recognize the powers of
the Public Energy Authority as to development and financing of
projects under its jurisdiction and shall make such recommendations
as are reasonable and practicable for the exercise of such powers.
(g) The division shall hold public hearings and meetings with
notice to receive public input regarding proposed energy policies
and development plans. The energy policy and development plans
required by subsections (d) and (f) of this section shall address
increased efficiency of energy use, traditional and alternative
energy, water as a resource and a component of energy production,
energy distribution systems, the siting of energy facilities, the
increased development and production of new and existing domestic
energy sources, increased awareness of energy use on the
environment and the economy, energy infrastructure, the development
and implementation of renewable, clean, technically innovative and
advanced energy projects in this state. Projects may include, without limitation, solar and wind energy, low-impact hydro power,
geothermal, biomass, landfill gas, fuel cells, renewable hydrogen
fuel technologies, waste coal, coal mine methane, coal gasification
to ultraclean fuels, solid waste to fuel grade ethanol and coal
(h) The division may propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-
nine-a of this code designed to implement an energy policy and
development plan in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(i) The energy policy and development plans required by
subsections (d) and (f) of this section shall identify and report
on the energy infrastructure in this state and include without
limitation energy infrastructure related to protecting the state's
essential data, information systems and critical government
services in times of emergency, inoperativeness or disaster. In
consultation with the Director of the Division of Homeland Security
and Emergency Management, the director of the division shall
encourage the development of energy infrastructure and strategic
resources that will ensure the continuity of governmental
operations in situations of emergency, inoperativeness or disaster.
(j) In preparing or revising the energy policy and development
plan, the division may rely upon internal staff reports or the
advice of outside advisors or consultants and may procure such
services with the consent of the Secretary of Commerce. The division may also involve national, state and local government
leadership and energy experts.
(k) The division shall prepare an energy use database,
including without limitation, end-use applications and
infrastructure needs for different classes of energy users
including residential, commercial and industrial users, data
regarding the interdependencies and sources of electricity, oil,
coal, water and gas infrastructure, data regarding energy use of
schools and state-owned facilities and collect data on the impact
of the energy policy and development plan on the decisions and
strategies of energy users of the state.
(l) The division shall promote collaboration between the
state's universities and colleges, private industry and nonprofit
organizations to encourage energy research and leverage available
federal energy research and development resources.
(m) The division shall promote initiatives to enhance the
nation's energy security through research and development directed
at transforming the state's energy resources into the resources
that fuel the nation.
(n) The Performance Evaluation and Research Division of the
Legislative Auditor's Office shall perform an agency review of the
Division of Energy in 2010 as part of its review of the Department
of Commerce as set forth in article four, chapter ten of this code.
(o) The division shall work with the President of the United States and his or her administration to develop a plan that would
allow West Virginia to become the leader in transitioning the
United States to a new energy future.
(p) The division is to determine the best way for West
Virginia to utilize its resources and any federal funding to
develop the technologies that are necessary for such a transition.
(q) The division is to clearly articulate West Virginia's
position on an energy solution for the United States that
encompasses clean coal, natural gas, transtech energy technologies
and renewable energy technologies.
(r) The division shall develop and distribute an informational
program and policies that emphasize the importance of West Virginia
energy resources and their positive impact on the eastern seaboard
and the nation.
(s) The division shall monitor legal challenges to the energy
industries in the state and submit a report quarterly to the Joint
Committee on Government and Finance. The report shall contain
information relating to any litigation that challenges any statute
that could affect the production, distribution and utilization of
natural resources of the state.
(t) The division may develop an energy related public
relations campaign focused on educating Washington, D.C. and the
federal government about West Virginia coal and its positive impact
on the eastern seaboard.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow the Division of
Energy to develop an energy related public relations campaign
focused on educating the Washington, D.C. area and the federal
government about West Virginia coal and its positive impact on the
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would