West Virginia governor signs coal safety, net metering bills

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (March 12, 2015) – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today signed Senate Bill 357, creating the Coal Jobs and Safety Act of 2015:

“Today, I signed Senate Bill 357, which calls for changes in several aspects of West Virginia’s mining regulations. As part of my decision to sign the bill, I have worked with legislative leadership to pass a resolution directing the Board of Coal Mine Health and Safety to adopt rules related to the movement of underground equipment. I strongly urge the Board to collaborate and develop responsible regulations that will ensure the safety of our hardworking coal miners while allowing operators additional flexibility to be more productive and competitive long-term.”

Gov. Tomblin also signed Senate Bill 361, adjusting the state’s calculation of prevailing wage:

“Today, I signed Senate Bill 361, which will adjust the state’s calculation of prevailing wage to establish a figure more reflective of actual earnings in regions across the state. While I understand not everyone is happy with this compromise, I’m grateful for the continued work of all involved who came together to address the concerns of hardworking West Virginians while establishing a common sense approach to continued investments in our infrastructure.”

Gov. Tomblin also signed House Bill 2201, requiring the Public Service Commission to adopt certain net metering and interconnection rules and standards:

“Today I signed House Bill 2201, which regulates net metering as part of West Virginia’s power generation. I appreciate the increasing role solar and wind power will play in our state, and I encourage the Public Service Commission to continue to evaluate the costs and benefits of West Virginia’s net metering policy to balance the potential for new jobs and investment in alternative energy without unfairly burdening current rate-payers.”