Charleston: Gov. Jim Justice has defended the appointments of coal and natural gas advocates for a long-sleeved public service official when it was unclear whether he would have an environmental lawyer as required by law.
Justice was announced by the West Virginia Public Authority on Saturday at the opening address of the West Virginia Coal Association’s annual conference address at the Greenberri Resort in White Sulfur Springs.
In a brief statement on the Government Capitol Building on Monday, COVID-19 praised Justice for reviving the authority, after reading a statement released over the weekend.
“One thing we want to try to prove is that West Virginia remains a world power,” he said. By reactivating WVPEA, the state maintains its own knowledge of real-time, individual power generation conditions, life cycles, and interruptions to domestic power supplies.
In accordance with the State Code, the State Energy Authority is empowered to finance, build, and even operate coal and natural gas to promote the state’s “safe and reliable markets for coal, natural gas, and other natural resources.” Plants.
The Authority is composed of the Secretary of the Department of Commerce and the Environment and the Director of the Economic Development Authority (now the Secretary of the Economic Development Department), four members appointed by the Governor and certified by the State Senate. .
Justice Appointed Hurricane Senior Vice President Jeff Allen Charlie Berd, executive director of the Western Virginia Gas and Oil Association; Chris Hamilton, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, and Jeff Herlett, director of the state’s energy department and former governors Joe Manchin and Arl Ray Rayblin, former chairman of the Public Works Authority.
The State Energy Authority will assist other regional power plants by coordinating the energy output of commercial power plants in the region. The members of the Authority will formulate policies to maintain the existing coal-fired power plants, to develop the next generation of coal-fired power plants, and to use all of West Virginia’s resources for power generation.
“Our energy industry is under attack in the country – coal, oil or natural gas,” he said. “We want to embrace our renewal. But today, in the United States and in the world, anyone who believes, “Oh, we get rid of coal.” Let’s get rid of oil and gas. If we did that today, we would have more distractions than you think. ”
It is not clear when the state energy authority was created, but it was amended in 2007 by the passage of Senate Bill 177. That law created a division of power in the Department of Commerce. Although the last four members served two to three years, members of the public served four years. The last member was Mike Ross. He was appointed in 2010 and served until 2012.
The State Code requires that at least one of its members be “a person with a high degree of environmental protection.” It also states: “The employer shall not be employed by any company or of any other persons with authority to influence it.”
Hamilton is associated with the coal industry. The group is affiliated with the oil and natural gas industry. Hamilton and Burd are both lobbies for the coal and natural gas industries. Allen’s business is partly focused on coal, oil and natural gas. As an energy executive, Herldt has advocated for a number of energy sources.
Justice is not convinced that an environmentalist is already in power, but he does not object to the appointment of another person in the future.
In the case of the four nominees, justice protected their choice. He believes that the new appointees will make a fair decision for the new appointees.
“These are good people,” said Justice. “These are reasonable people. They are not biased. The biggest thing we should always do in Western Virginia is that we should be very proud of who we are — we really should be proud of all our coal miners and gas workers. We must try to keep their industry afloat. ”