EPA Funding Letter to Senators Capitol and Manchin

The LWV-WV and other organizations sent the following letter urging our Senators to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key EPA programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

October 16, 2017

The Honorable Joe Manchin III                                   The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito
306 Hart Senate Office Building                                  172 Russell Senate Office Building           
Washington DC 20510                                                   Washington DC 20510                    

Dear Senators Manchin and Capito,

West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the undersigned West Virginia organizations, are concerned about the federal appropriations that designate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s allocations for state programs that manage the protection of water quality. We urge you to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

The U.S. House of Representatives appropriation for the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill reduced funding for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. The Bay Program is significant in its six-state cooperative effort that affects 180,000 miles of streams and rivers and 18 million people. We are pleased that West Virginia, which comprises the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is part of that effort. We are also cognizant of the benefits of water clean-up programs in West Virginia supported by Bay Program funds. We believe the reduction of support for the Bay Program in the House appropriations bill will be detrimental to West Virginians in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We request that you maintain the 2017 funding level of $73 million in the 2018 appropriations, and support last year’s requirement that $6 million of this allocation go for Small Watershed Grants and $6 million for Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants. These grant programs alone have brought in approximately $5 million since 2010 for projects in West Virginia.

We also are concerned about policy “riders” added to the bill in the House. Restricting efforts to clean up our waters is not a benefit for our citizens and may cause costly future clean ups for the public to bear.  Here are a few examples that stand to place West Virginia’s waters at risk:

  • Prohibiting EPA from enforcing the Chesapeake Bay TMDL on states that are not implementing their own clean-up plans. This would shift pollution reduction responsibilities from states like PA to headwater states, such as WV.
  • Prohibiting EPA from ensuring mining companies are financially capable of cleaning up pollution that operations cause to the land and water.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to issue any regulation under the Solid Waste Disposal Act that applies to an animal feeding operation.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to require permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material for certain agricultural activities.
  • Authorizing the withdrawal of the Waters of the United States Rule without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.

Thank you for considering these concerns. Please fully fund essential EPA programs and reject riders that put the future quality of our water supplies at risk.

Angie Rosser, Executive Director
West Virginia Rivers Coalition

George Santucci, Executive Director
New River Conservancy

Cynthia Ellis, President
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Charles Marsh, President
Sleepy Creek Watershed Association

Gary Zuckett, Executive Director
West Virginia Citizen Action Group

Sherry Evasic, President
Blue Heron Environmental Network

Julie Archer, Co-founder
West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization

Natalie Thompson, Executive Director
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Judy Rodd, Executive Director
Friends of Blackwater

John Bird, Conservation Chair
West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club

Brent Walls
Upper Potomac Waterkeeper

Jonathan Rosenbaum, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia

 Senate EPA Funding Letter 10.16.17

LWV Statement on Charlottesville

League of Women Voters Condemns White Supremacists in Charlottesville

 
Washington, DC - League of Women Voters president Chris Carson issued the following statement following the horrific acts by white supremacists in Virginia this weekend:

“Yesterday the world watched in horror as white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia. There is no place for hatred and violence in our democracy and all leaders must condemn these acts of domestic terrorism. We must send a strong message that while the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly are some of our most cherished rights and must be protected, those rights do not extend to what we witnessed yesterday. The League of Women Voters stands in solidarity with the victims of violence in Charlottesville and against white supremacism.”

http://lwv.org/press-releases/lwv-statement-charlottesville

 Contact: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | scourtney@lwv.org

Morgantown-Monongalia 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up!

Event is now postponed until the special session is over, and a replacement date can be determined. Please check back for a new event date announcement due to the special session of the legislature.

Morgantown-Monongalia 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up

April 12 Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum

April 12 Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum

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

October Candidate Forums for Monongalia County

Press Release from the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County

September 28, 2016

The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County is hosting two forums in October. The first on Thursday, October 13 is a candidate forum for candidates running for WV State Senate (Districts 2, 13 and 14) and WV House of Delegates (Districts 5, 49 and 51) will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

On Thursday, October 20, a candidate forum for candidates running for County Clerk, County Commission and Sheriff will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

The public is encouraged to come and ask questions and inform themselves before the election on November 8.

State Candidate Forum – October 13, 2016
County Candidate Forum – October 20, 2016

April Candidate and Levy Forums for Monongalia County

Press Release from the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County

April 7, 2016

The League of Women Voters is sponsoring three forums in April. On Wednesday, April 13 a candidate forum for candidates running for Circuit Judge, Magistrate, and Conservation District Supervisor will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

On Wednesday, April 20, a forum with a panel discussing the six levies which will be on the ballot will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

On Wednesday, April 27, a candidate forum for candidates running for the House of Delegates and the State Senate, as well as those running for Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney, will be held at South Middle School from 7 to 9 pm.

The public is encouraged to come and ask questions and inform themselves before the election on May 10.

Nonpartisan Candidate Forum – April 13, 2016
Levy Forum – April 20, 2016
Partisan Candidate Forum – April 27, 2016

Morgantown-Monongalia Legislators Forum

 

Legislators Forum

Hosted by the

League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County

Thursday, December 10, 7 – 9 p.m.

Suncrest United Methodist Church

479 Van Voorhis Road

Come to meet your legislators and discuss local and state issues! 

Sponsored by

OSHER LIFELONG LEARNING INSTITUTE AT WVU 

This forum is designed to let the legislators tell the public what their priorities and proposals are for the upcoming Legislative session, and for them to hear from you about your hopes, needs and concerns. In the past this forum has led to very fruitful discussions between the public and the legislators. The legislators will be given four minutes to discuss their interests in the upcoming session, and the public will then have the opportunity to voice their requests. After the forum there will be refreshments and time to talk individually with the legislators. Please plan to come!

For additional information call Kitty Lozier at 304-599-8233.

http://morgantown.lwvwv.org

 

Legislators Forum 2015

League of Women Voters Presents Three Democracy in Action Awards

Last year the League of Women Voters launched Democracy in Action Awards. We continued that
tradition at our annual meeting held on May 13, at the Aull Center by presenting three Democracy in
Action Awards to The Community Coalition for Social Justice, Mr. John Sonnenday of the Coordinating
Council on Homelessness, and League member Lyndell Millechia. The meeting began with a very
informative presentation by guest speaker Barb Howe on the “Evolution of the Voting Rights Act (up to
1965)”.

The League recognized the Community Coalition for Social Justice with a Democracy in Action Award.
The CCSJ was represented by Al Anderson, Susan Brown, Nora Sheets and Barb Howe. It was chartered
in 2000 with a mission to promote the principles of social and economic justice, respect all people and
oppose discrimination and hate motivated violence. In addition to individual members the CCSJ is joined
by religious organizations, labor councils and community advocacy groups and most recently by the
League of Women Voters as an organizational member.

The CCSJ has sponsored events such as forums on fair housing and religious diversity and they provide a
wide range of books on social justice themes to local libraries. Their most visible activity is the annual
program to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event educates us about where we have been and
where we are going as a country and as a community in terms of civil rights. The award was accepted by
Al Anderson on behalf of the Coalition for Social Justice.

The second award of the evening was presented to Mr. John Sonnenday for his tireless work on behalf
of the homeless population in Morgantown and Monongalia County. In the spring of 2010, the
Morgantown City Council and the Mon County Commission created a task force to study and develop a
plan to reduce homeless. Mr. Sonnenday was the chair of the task force and since that time, he has
been instrumental in guiding a dedicated group of people who continue to work toward eliminating
homelessness in our area.

The work of the original task force led to the creation of the Coordinating Council on Homelessness,
which was launched in February 2014 with John Sonnenday as the Executive Director. Under his
guidance, 145 people were moved into permanent housing in 2013 and 206 in 2014, including 39
chronically homeless people. The Council has received federal grants and participated in nation-wide
campaigns and under his direction. Our community was chosen as one of 71 communities in the country
to participate in Zero:2016, with the goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and
chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. The League was honored to present Mr. Sonnenday with the
Democracy in Action award.

Last but far from least, the League honored one of our own, Lyndell Millecchia. League President
Jonathan Rosenbaum, presented her with a Democracy in Action award. Lyndell has been a League
member for over 40 years. She is the go-to person of the organization, Board member, past President,
current Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, she maintains our membership list and mailing list, updates our
Guide to Government Officials, she has arranged locations for countless League events including
Candidate Forums. She is always the first person to arrive and the last person to leave League
sponsored events. Her contributions to the League are immeasurable. Lyndell can be described by the
title of the opera that chronicles the life of Susan B. Anthony, “The Mother of Us All.”

Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum 2015 Press Release

The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County is sponsoring a candidate forum for Morgantown City Council candidates at South Middle School on Thursday, April 16, 7pm-9pm. The forum includes all candidates including declared write-in candidates.

Candidates running to date are: First Ward – Ron Bane, George Papandreas and Rachel Lee Fetty (write-in); Second Ward – Bill Kawecki and Al Bonner (write-in); Third Ward – Wes Nugent; Forth Ward – Jennifer Selin; Fifth Ward – Marti Shamberger; Sixth Ward – Noel Hoffman and Jay Redmond; Seventh Ward – Nancy Ganz and Bill Graham (write-in).

Complete election information can be found at http://www.morgantownwv.gov/quick-links/2015-election-materials/

League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  Refreshments will be served.