(a) The West Virginia Public Energy Authority is continued. The authority is a governmental instrumentality of the state and a body corporate. The exercise by the authority of the powers conferred by this article and the carrying out of its purposes and duties are essential governmental functions and for a public purpose.
(b) The authority shall be controlled, managed and operated by a seven-member board known as the West Virginia Public Energy Authority Board, which is continued. The seven members include the Secretary of the Department of Commerce or designee; the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection or designee; the Director of the Economic Development Authority or designee; and four members representing the general public. The public members are appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for terms of one, two, three and four years, respectively.
(c) On June 30, 2007, the terms of all appointed members shall expire. Not later than July 1, 2007, the Governor shall appoint the public members required in subsection (b) of this section to assume the duties of the office immediately, pending the advice and consent of the Senate.
(d) The successor of each appointed member is appointed for a four-year term. A vacancy is filled by appointment by the Governor in the same manner as the original appointment. A member appointed to fill a vacancy serves for the remainder of the unexpired term. Each board member serves until a successor is appointed.
(e) No more than three of the public members may at any one time belong to the same political party. No more than two public members may be employed by or associated with any industry the authority is empowered to affect. One member shall be a person with significant experience in the advocacy of environmental protection. Board members may be reappointed to serve additional terms.
(f) All members of the board shall be citizens of the state. Before engaging in their duties, each member of the board shall comply with the requirements of article one, chapter six of this code and give bond in the sum of $25,000 in the manner provided in article two of said chapter. The Governor may remove any board member as provided in section four, article six of said chapter.
(g) The Secretary of the Department of Commerce or his or her designee shall serve as chair. The board annually elects one of its members as vice chair and appoints a secretary-treasurer who need not be a member of the board.
(h) Four members of the board constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of the majority of members present at any meeting is necessary for any action taken by vote of the board. A vacancy in the membership of the board does not impair the rights of a quorum by such vote to exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the board and the authority.
(i) The person appointed as secretary-treasurer, including a board member if so appointed, shall give bond in the sum of $50,000 in the manner provided in article two, chapter six of this code.
(j) Each public member shall be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the discharge of official duties. All expenses incurred by the board shall be paid in a manner consistent with guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration and are payable solely from funds of the authority or from funds appropriated for such purpose by the Legislature. Liability or obligation is not incurred by the authority beyond the extent to which moneys are available from funds of the authority or from such appropriations.
(k) In addition to such other duties and responsibilities as may be prescribed in this code, the Office of Energy is responsible for managing and administering the daily functions of the authority and for performing all other functions necessary to the effective operation of the authority.