(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.