(a) The Legislature finds that:
(1) Coal is an important fuel source for keeping the household energy costs low in the State of West Virginia;
(2) Continued protection of the state’s environment, public health and welfare requires that new emissions reduction technologies that protect and improve air quality be evaluated for their environmental effectiveness and economic viability;
(3) The diversity of fuel used to generate electricity is a significant factor in providing reliable and economical energy to the citizens of the State of West Virginia;
(4) The price of electricity generated with coal has remained relatively unchanged over the past twenty years;
(5) The continued recovery and utilization of coal resources are important to the state’s economy;
(6) Advancements in clean coal technology clearly demonstrate that electricity from coal can be produced in a more efficient, economical and environmentally friendly manner; and
(7) Advancements in alternative coal usage has produced useful household, commercial and industrial technologies.
(b) The Legislature determines that, consistent with the protection of the public health and welfare, the protection of air quality, the protection of the environment, the operation of existing industries, the enhancement of the long-term economic health and the improved reliability of electric generation in the state, it is a goal of this state’s energy policy that technologies be explored to increase the efficiencies and decrease the emissions from electricity generated by coal.
(c) It is the policy of this state that clean coal technologies and alternative coal uses will be explored in order to:
(1) Preserve fuel diversity and maintain reliable, low-cost sources of electric power;
(2) Identify technologies for reducing the emissions from existing coal-fired electric generation; and
(3) Identify new, cleaner coal-fired electric generation technologies that may be used to provide new generating capacity.
In this section:
(1) "Council" means the West Virginia clean coal technology council.
(2) "Designated agency" means the state agency designated by the council to provide administrative support to the council.
(3) "Pilot projects" means the voluntary application of new coal utilization technology on existing or new facilities designed to reduce the emission of air pollutants.
(a) The West Virginia clean coal technology council is created with Legislative Oversight to coordinate actions for the study and development of clean coal technology pilot projects in this state.
(b) The council is composed of:
(1) Three state senators to be appointed by the President of the Senate, with one being designated as cochair;
(2) Three state delegates to be appointed by the speaker of the House, with one being designated as cochair;
(3) Two members representing coal operators' viewpoint to be appointed by the Governor from a list of three nominees for each position submitted by the major trade association which represents coal operators accounting for over one half of the coal produced in mines in this state in the year prior to the year in which the appointment is to be made;
(4) Two members representing coal miners' viewpoint to be appointed by the Governor from a list of three nominees for each position submitted by the highest ranking official within the major employee organization representing coal miners; and
(5) Two members who have knowledge of and experience in the field of coal technology to be appointed by the Governor.
(a) Members of the council shall be appointed for two-year terms and may be reappointed for additional terms;
(b) The council shall meet not less than once each calendar quarter for the first year and at a frequency to be determined by the council thereafter, at a time determined by the council and at the call of the cochairs;
(c) An appropriate state agency shall be designated by the council as being responsible for administering the council. The designated agency shall provide, from its existing staff, the staff necessary to assist the council in carrying out its responsibilities. This agency shall have the authority to request and distribute federal funding for use by the council in carrying out its responsibilities;
(d) The council is subject to the administrative procedures act pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(a) The council shall:
(1) Coordinate the activities of the designated agency with regard to the specific clean coal technology charges of this council with appropriate private, public, state or federal agencies/organizations;
(2) Provide direction to the designated agency to study, develop and promulgate requests for proposals for pilot projects in West Virginia that will assist the council in evaluating technologies, assessing economics, evaluating the environmental benefits, seeking funds, evaluating the useful life of pilot projects and determining the importance of clean coal technologies to energy policy in West Virginia. Requests for proposals shall include an assessment of the potential for the use of financial and other incentives for potential respondents;
(3) Provide oversight to the designated agency in seeking public and private funding to support the activities of the council and the financing of pilot projects;
(4) Determine a reasonable projected duration for the pilot projects;
(5) Encourage and facilitate the development of alternative coal uses and related coal technologies;
(6) File with the Governor, Speaker of the House of Delegates and President of the Senate before the date that the next regular legislative session convenes a report of the council's activities during the two proceeding years and any recommendations for legislation considered necessary with regard to the pilot projects; and
(7) Publish the report required by subdivision (6) of this subsection.
(b) The designated state agency having the responsibility for administering the clean coal technology council shall maintain a public file relating to the council.
(c) The designated agency having responsibility for administering the clean coal technology council shall make available to the public a copy of any council report that is provided to the Legislature.
Acts, 2010 Reg. Sess., Ch. 32.