League Opposes Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle

The State Board invites you to support this opposition.  Please sign the petition at http://energyfreedomwv.org/take-action-1-1/,  and/or send your own letter to the PSC.

Statement Opposing Pleasants Power Station Boondoggle

In 2013, the League of Women Voters of West Virginia opposed Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s proposed purchase of 80% of the Harrison power plant.  At that time we sent a clear message to the West Virginia Public Service Commission:

Customers should not be forced to pay for a  purchase that will raise the costs of their electricity. Furthermore the purchase of the Harrison power plant would lock in costs for many generations, so that better alternatives would be precluded. 

Rather than paying for the high costs of the Harrison power plant, Mon Power and Potomac Edison could bid for cheaper power from other sources and install more energy efficiency into its production. Also they could lessen demand by aiding customers in energy efficiency means as many power companies have done. All would result in smaller energy costs to ratepayers.

Once again, we are confronted with a similar  situation, this time involving the purchase of the Pleasants Power Station that is currently operating in a deregulated electricity market where it is struggling to compete against less expensive power sources.  The League firmly opposes this new attempt by FirstEnergy Corp. to offload this plant to our regulated market because of debt the company has acquired due to its own lack of foresight in the transitioning energy markets.

The state of West Virginia is a net exporter of electricity, providing almost 5% of the nation’s total energy, largely because of its coal production.  However, many states receiving our electricity from the grid are phasing out coal generated electricity.   It is time that West Virginia does the same. Even as this statement is being written, a massive iceberg the size of Delaware is very close to breaking free from Antarctica, due to a huge, widening crack in the 10,000 year-old Larsen ice shelf.

The financial costs for West Virginians from climate change will vastly exceed any profits for FirstEnergy Corp. shareholders.  Switching the power station’s financial risks from stockholders to ratepayers will not benefit the people of West Virginia, and in the final analysis they will be the net losers.

Therefore, we ask the Public Service Commission not to approve passing the costs from FirstEnergy’s own boondoggle to the ratepayers of West Virginia

League of Women Voters of West Virginia 

CONTACT:
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Board Member

Nancy Novak, President

You Should Run for Office in West Virginia

Our Children, Our Future is offering their successful candidate trainings again, and they want to know which days work best for you, and what office(s) you are interested in.

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/you-should-run-for-office-in-west-virginia

ALERT: Tell Manchin to oppose the SAFE Act

Please call Senator Manchin TODAY! 

http://www.manchin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
You can call his home office in West Virginia at 304-342-5855 or Senator Manchin’s Washington, D.C. office at 202-224-3954. In addition, West Virginians with a 304 or 681 area code can contact Senator Manchin’s office through our toll-free number at 855-275-5737.

What Legislation?  The U.S. Senate plans to vote this Wednesday, January 20th on H.R. 4038, “The American Security against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act,” which would grind to a halt the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. This bill was passed by the House of Representatives in November, so it is critical that it does not pass the Senate. Such proposals and the anti-refugee sentiment that has accompanied them are morally reprehensible and go against who we are as a nation. It is critical that Senators hear from their constituents NOW.

Urge Manchin to vote NO to H.R. 4038 and any legislation that would stop, pause or defund the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

Sample Script: “I am your constituent from WV, and I support the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. I am opposed to any bill that would stop or pause the resettlement of refugees of any nationality or religion. I urge you to vote NO to H.R. 4038, The American SAFE Act.”

Below are some helpful points on the security checks involved in refugee resettlement, which is the focus of this legislation. The most important points to mention, however, are your story and why your community wants to welcome Syrian refugees.

  • The U.S. government handpicks the refugees who resettle here, and the U.S. resettlement process has the most rigorous screening process in the world.
  • Refugees are the most thoroughly vetted people to come to the United States, undergoing interagency screenings by the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Department of Defense, National Counter Terrorism Center and multiple intelligence agencies, including biometric checks, forensic document testing, medical tests and in-person interviews.
  • Continuing refugee resettlement while maintaining national security is not an either/or situation. The United States can continue to welcome refugees while also continuing to ensure national security. We can and must do both.

The League of Women Voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the United States on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

The League supports federal immigration law that provides an efficient, expeditious system (with minimal or no backlogs) for legal entry of immigrants into the United States.

To complement these goals the League supports federal policies to improve economies, education, job opportunities and living conditions in nations with large emigrating populations.

TAKE ACTION – PSC Harrison power plant transfer case

The State board of LWVWV wants League members around the state to take action concerning PSC Case No. 12-1571.  The hearing will run from this Wednesday, May 29 to May 31, and can be watched live by webcast on each day beginning at 9:30 a.m:

The League of Women Voters of West Virginia opposes Mon Power and Potomac Edison’s proposed purchase of 80% of the Harrison power plant. Customers should not be forced to pay for a  purchase that will raise the costs of their electricity. Furthermore the purchase of the Harrison power plant would lock in costs for many generations so that better alternatives would be precluded.

Rather than paying for the high costs of the Harrison power plant, Mon Power and Potomac Edison could bid for cheaper power from other sources and install more energy efficiency into its production. Also they could lessen demand by aiding customers in energy efficiency means as many power companies have done. All would result in smaller energy costs to ratepayers.

The State Board is a member of Energy Efficient West Virginia.  Please learn about the background of this case and about different ways to take action at the website:

1. Sign a petition
2. Write a letter online to PSC Executive Secretary, Sandra Squire.
3. Submit a letter to the editor of your local paper.
4. Come to the public hearing: May 29th at 9:30am at the Public Service Commission (201 Brooks St., Charleston, WV).  There will be vans leaving from Morgantown WalMart off of I-68 at 6:00 a.m. on the 29th.   Contact Daniel Chiotos <daniel.chiotos@gmail.com> or call 304-886-3389 to reserve a spot.

Thank-you!

Jonathan Rosenbaum
President of LWV of Morgantown-Monongalia County

Citizen Groups Challenge WVDEP’s Flawed Attempt to Weaken Water Quality

March 27, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACTS:     Cindy Rank, WV Highlands Conservancy, 304-924-5802

Angie Rosser, WV Rivers Coalition, 304-637-7201 

Charleston, WV (March 27, 2013) – At today’s public hearing, WVDEP will hear arguments from citizens on the lack of scientific justification and consideration of the public interest in its attempt to pass an emergency rule that would allow drastically higher levels of dissolved aluminum into West Virginia streams. Exposure to aluminum at concentrations in the hundreds of micrograms/liter has been shown to stunt and kill aquatic organisms, including algae and fish. The proposed rule would result in a 13-fold and 46-fold increase over the current criteria for acute and chronic aluminum toxicity to aquatic life respectively, raising serious concerns over the future health of West Virginia waterways.

WVDEP cites that the revised criteria needs to be adopted as an emergency rule instead of going through the regular rulemaking process, which fails to adhere to public participation requirements of the Clean Water Act.  Groups’ submitted comments state there is no emergency that justifies the promulgation of this rule.  “The only emergency seems to be that our water is too clean and DEP believes that they are therefore somehow required to help a small number of polluters avoid the cost of treating their toxic waste.” said Jim Kotcon, Conservation Chair for the West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club.

The lack of scientific study on the impact of the weakened criteria on aquatic ecosystems in West Virginia is of primary concern. Groups working to protect water quality contend that WVDEP must withdraw the proposal and carry out more extensive scientific research justifying water hardness as a mitigating factor in aluminum toxicity. “DEP is rushing this rule through without the scientific evidence to assure aquatic life and public health is protected,” said Don Garvin, Legislative Coordinator for the WV Environmental Council.

If adopted some streams may benefit from this change, but many more will suffer further impairment. Angie Rosser, Executive Director of the WV Rivers Coalition noted, “The public has an interest in being able to use and enjoy healthy rivers and streams. There’s too much at stake to adopt such a drastic change without scientific certainty that we’re adequately protecting all headwater streams.”

Citizen’s groups submitted comments: http://www.wvrivers.org/articles/aluminum comments.pdf

Report by Dr. Carys Mitchelmore: http://www.wvrivers.org/articles/Aluminum Summary.pdf

###

About WVDEP Public Hearing:

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Water and Waste Management have scheduled a public hearing and comment period on emergency rule changes to 47CSR2, “Requirements Governing Water Quality Standards.”  The DEP proposes an emergency rule to revise the dissolved aluminum criteria and human health Category A beryllium criterion in 47CSR2. The hearing will be held at DEP’s Charleston headquarters, 601 57th Street S.E., Charleston, WV 25304, in the Coopers Rock Training Room on March 27th at 6:00 p.m.  Copies of the emergency rule and other rule documents are available from the Secretary of State’s office or from the agency website www.dep.wv.gov/wqs.

About League of Women Voters of WV:

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

About Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC):

OVEC, based in Huntington WV, is dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the environment through education, grassroots organizing, leadership development and coalition building.

About Sierra Club WV Chapter:

Sierra Club WV Chapter enjoys, explores and protects the environment and natural resources of West Virginia. www.westvirginia.sierraclub.org 

About WV Environmental Council:

The mission of the West Virginia Environmental Council is to facilitate communication and cooperation among citizens in promoting environmental protection in West Virginia, to assist in organizing grass roots groups, to facilitate interaction among established environmental organizations, and to correspond with all appropriate local, state, and federal agencies involved in the management of West Virginia’s environment.

About WV Highlands Conservancy:

Working since 1965 for the conservation of West Virginia’s natural resources. Publishers of the Highlands Voice and the Monongahela National Forest Hiking Guide. www.wvhighlands.org

About WV Rivers Coalition (WVRC):

WVRC’s mission is to “seek the conservation and restoration of West Virginia’s exceptional rivers and streams”.  WVRC values clean water as the foundation of life and believes that all people should respect and be able to enjoy clean West Virginia rivers and streams. Learn more at www.wvrivers.org.

TAKE ACTION: Support the Voting Rights Act

League of Women Voters

 

Dear Supporter,Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965, a case which will ultimately decide whether millions of voters could face new barriers when trying to exercise their right to vote. The Voting Rights Act is an essential part of American democracy. It ensures that every American citizen, regardless of race, has an equal right to vote.

If the Justices overturn the Voting Rights Act, it would be the single biggest setback for voting rights in history. Join with us in pledging to protect the Voting Rights Act and the right to vote.

The VRA is indispensable to the League’s work. The League protects and defends voting rights across the country in order to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible to all eligible citizens. The VRA has helped the League work to defeat restrictive state voter photo identification laws, block such laws where they have already been passed, and fight laws designed to curb organizations like ours from registering voters.

Civil Rights March

The thought that the Supreme Court might take away voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American. We’re working with our partners to ensure that the justices of the Supreme Court understand what is truly at risk if the VRA is overturned – join us and take a stand to support the Voting Rights Act.

Rooted in the movement that secured the right to vote for women, the League of Women Voters has always been committed to registering and turning out voters, and we’re not stopping now. The VRA remains critical to ensuring that every American can cast a ballot and have it count. Join us in defending the VRA and ensuring all Americans have the right to vote!

Thank you for helping make our democracy work.

Elisabeth MacNamara Sincerely,Elisabeth MacNamara
President, League of Women Voters

P.S. This morning, while the oral arguments are taking place inside, we’ll be outside on the steps of the Supreme Court rallying with our partner organizations in support of the Voting Rights Act. Follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates!

 

 

Join us on Facebook  Follow Us

League of Women Voters
1730 M Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-429-1965

 

Support EPA’s Proposal to Limit Industrial Carbon Pollution

For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could put limits on the industrial carbon pollution that fuels global warming, makes smog worse and threatens the health of children and the elderly — and you can help make it happen.

Support the EPA’s historic standard to limit carbon pollution.

The EPA has taken an important first step by proposing a new standard to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. The agency is now receiving public comments on the proposal and we must add our voice in support.

You can bet that corporate polluters are already doing everything they can to block these important health protections. Members of the environmental and health communities are already voicing their support, and we must add the trusted League voice to theirs.

Add your voice! Tell the EPA that you support strong protections against industrial carbon pollution.

The EPA’s proposal sets a performance standard that will ensure new power plants limit their pollution. But this is just a down payment. Existing coal-fired power plants account for the largest chunk of carbon dioxide pollution emitted by stationary sources in the US, which is roughly on a par with the carbon dioxide pollution emitted by the entire transportation sector.

We need to build strong support for the EPA’s proposal on new plants to ensure that there will be political support for taking the next step — controlling carbon pollution from existing power plants!

Send a powerful message to let the EPA know you want them to support people not polluters. Your comment will be delivered with those of thousands of League members and supporters across the country.

Submit a comment to the EPA today!

Fight back against Citizens United!

Take Action
Today you have an important opportunity to take an essential first step to fight back against Citizens United and the deregulation of the campaign finance system. Click here to urge President Obama to clean house at the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Already in this important election year, new Super PACs are flooding elections with huge expenditures from million-dollar donors. Because they are supposedly “independent” from the candidates, and with new loopholes from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, Super PACs can raise and spend unlimited amounts from corporations and individuals, and they can do so with limited disclosure.

While there are different avenues that can be taken to fight back against Citizens United and cut the influence of special interests, you can join us by taking the first step today by urging President Obama to appoint new commissioners to the FEC. Among other duties, the FEC can define what election efforts are “independent” from the candidates.

The FEC is supposed to be the agency that enforces campaign finance laws, but it is dysfunctional. Of the six commissioners at the agency, three of them staunchly refuse to enforce the law, and five of the six are serving despite expired terms. It is time to clean house.

We need real campaign finance reform, and getting President Obama to nominate new commissioners to do their duty and enforce campaign finance laws is a good place to start. In the next 30 days we need to gather 25,000 signatures of support.

Don’t just sign it yourself; post the petition on Facebook, Tweet about it and forward this note to all of your friends. Together we can make sure that the citizen’s voice is heard.

For extra reading, click here for an interesting discussion of the new Super PACs presented by PBS.

Watch Are Super PACs Living Up to Supreme Court’s Intentions? on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Take Action: Air pollution legislation

Take Action
Clean air and public health are under attack in Congress. Very soon the House is expected to vote on two bills which could weaken our environmental public health standards. The first (H.R. 2681) would reduce regulation of cement plants, which are one of the largest sources of industrial mercury toxics in the country. The second (H.R. 2250) would reduce regulations on incinerators and industrial boilers which dump large amounts of toxic pollution into our air.

Take action now to tell your Representative to vote against H.R. 2681 and H.R.2250 which would harm public health.

Supporters of this kind of legislation claim that passage will stimulate the economy. Sacrificing tens of thousands of American lives will not create more jobs. Burdening the American people with billions of dollars in health and welfare costs will not lead to sustained economic growth.

Don’t Let the Senate Repeal the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act was a major step forward in health care for all and has already made a difference by improving health care access and coverage for millions of Americans. The House of Representatives took a step in the wrong direction by repealing the law that has already brought positive changes. The Senate could follow their lead very soon.

Take action now to tell your Senators to oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act.