Energy

Inside one section of the Entsorga facility in Martinsburg. Most of this garbage could become fuel.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Today, most of our trash ends up in landfills. In the United States, we produce more than 200 million tons of trash every single year. But what if we could turn some of that trash into fuel? Well, it turns out a large portion of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan County residents’ garbage is being turned into fuel as we speak – even if they may not realize it.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear how a new facility in Berkeley County is trying to tackle landfill overflow by turning trash into a fuel source. We also hear a discussion with John Temple, author of the new book Up in Arms.

John Deskins, Director of the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research, joins host Suzanne Higgins for a discussion on the state’s economy, areas of growth, labor force participation, and the employment growth forecast in West Virginia. We also have stories from reporters Randy Yohe and Danite Belay.

Senator Joe Manchin will become the Democrats' top member on the Senate committee devoted to energy issues.

Climate change and energy jobs are hot issues, but they spark very different reactions from folks in different parts of the country. Those reactions are the heart of this installment of “Red State, Blue State," our weekly chat between Trump Country and the Blue Bubble.

On The Legislature Today, we take a closer look at energy legislation moving through this session. Host Andrea Lannom chats with Senate Energy, Industry and Mining Committee Chairman Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, as well as Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition Angie Rosser.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We’ve fielded quite a few questions from people throughout the region who want to know more about a major deal the State of West Virginia struck with China Energy, the largest energy company in China. Glynis Board recently sat down with the director of WVU’s Energy Institute to get more insight into how this deal was made and what the implications might be. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One of our favorite stories from 2017 comes from Glynis Board who investigated how communities across the region and the country are investing in compassion to improve economy. Sounds a little farfetched. But a growing body of science points to compassion as an economic driver. Glynis explains why many businesses and cities are buying into the idea. 


Harry Schaefer, Environmental Protection Agency / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's U.S. Senators say a $1.3 million grant from the federal Office of Fossil Energy will go to the West Virginia University Research Corp. to support efforts to develop sensors that monitor corrosion in coal-fired power generation boilers.

http://www.murrayenergycorp.com/

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a defamation suit against The New York Times by Murray Energy Corp. over an April editorial that described the coal mining company as "a serial violator" of federal health and safety rules.

RIck Perry
Eric Gay / AP

After touring one of the few recently built coal-fired power plants in the U.S., Energy Secretary Rick Perry says they're important for the country's future.

Perry says a stable baseload of electricity is important and this technology provides "the ability to deliver a secure, economical and environmentally good source of energy."

Google Earth

Closed in January 2016, the Shenango Coke Works on Neville Island is a quiet place these days. A group of local activists would like to keep it that way: They’d like to see the site turned into a solar farm.  A pipe dream? Maybe not. The utility that owns it actually has a robust recent history of investing in renewables. 

Last year when Leah Andrascik heard the Shenango Coke Works was closing, she thought it was a joke. Then, when she realized the news sent in an email by a fellow activist was true, she was relieved.

Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr

The hydroelectric power station at the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River (pictured above) is one of the larger hydropower projects in Pennsylvania—generating enough electricity to power 400,000 homes. But many smaller dams on the Three Rivers aren’t being used as power stations. And some say putting those existing dams to work could give the region a valuable source of renewable energy.

Gas, natural gas, pipeline, energy, valve
Dollar Photo Club

Mountaineer Gas Co. has filed an application with West Virginia regulators for a major natural gas distribution line expansion in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

The company's senior vice president, Moses Skaff, tells The Journal of Martinsburg that the proposed project would run a 27-mile distribution line from a Columbia Gas transmission line in Pennsylvania to Berkeley Springs and then onto the north end of Martinsburg.

House Committee Refuses Another Tax Bill

Mar 9, 2016
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that would reduce the state’s severance tax on coal and natural gas from 5 percent to 3 percent has been postponed in the House.

Senate Bill 705 was taken off the table for lawmakers this session and instead was turned into an interim study measure during a House Finance Committee meeting Wednesday.  That would give the legislature time to study the effects of the tax cut in more detail during the months between legislative sessions.


Alpha Natural Resources

Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources Inc. has told 292 workers in Virginia and Kentucky they are losing their jobs.

Catherine Moore

If you live in Appalachia, you know that one of the most sensitive topics to talk about can be coal. In this episode of "Inside Appalachia," we'll hear liberal and conservative points of view, as we take on the complicated subject of the future of coal.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce held a public forum Tuesday bringing together lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle to discuss this past session.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Representatives of the coal and gas industry as well as solar are expected to speak at a public forum in Martinsburg next week. The forum is about energy and how it relates to West Virginia’s economy.

Legislature Wants to Approve State Energy Plan

Feb 2, 2015
state capitol
wikimedia / Wikimedia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Stakeholders are weighing in on whether lawmakers should get to vote on state plans to meet proposed federal carbon emission standards for coal-fired power plants.
 
     At a House public hearing Monday, speakers discussed a bill requiring the GOP-led Legislature's vote before the state sends compliance plans to the EPA. It requires a state feasibility report 180 days after EPA's rule is finalized.
 
     Environmentalists said legislative approval would be burdensome. Coal industry groups said lawmakers should have more say.
 

Energy Committees Now Have Major Legislative Status

Feb 2, 2015

At the legislature today, the senate re-visited West Virginia’s Medical Liability Act to add another health care position to the list of professions protected by a cap on malpractice awards.   We’ll meet the new chairs of the Energy Committees in both houses.  Once minor committees, these now have a new status at the legislature.  And we’ll give you a preview of tonight’s television documentary about children in poverty on The Legislature Today. 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of both the House and Senate Energy Committees took up a bill Thursday repealing a law that’s commonly been referred to as West Virginia’s cap and trade law.

The Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Act of 2009 requires electric utilities in the state to produce 25 percent of their electricity with alternative and renewable energy sources by 2025, meeting benchmarks of ten percent in 2015 and 15 percent in 2020.

"As I've gone up through science, I've realized how easy it is to have an impact on the world around you," WVU researcher Scott Cushing said, "even just doing research on the undergraduate level in a lab."
Larry Dowling / WVPublic

 

Scott Cushing grew up in the Charleston area. He once almost failed a middle school science project where he was supposed to build a machine with moving parts out of macaroni.

“It was trying to move, but couldn’t,” Cushing remembers about the macaroni engine he built. The macaroni piston failed, so the engine didn’t move. He got a C on that assignment, but clearly, he was destined for ambitious projects.

Republicans Pledge to Work Together

Dec 9, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Republican lawmakers at both the state and federal levels pledge to work together to move their agendas forward.  And Governor Tomblin tells a classroom of third graders about the importance of STEM based learning. 

Garbage to be Turned into Fuel in Berkeley County

Nov 21, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick reports on “resource recovery,” a polite way to say how household garbage can be used for fuel.  And Jessica Lilly joins Beth Vorhees to describe the scene at the arraignment of former Massey Energy chief Don Blankenship Thursday in Beckley.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Landfilling has been the main source of getting rid of waste for centuries. But a new technology coming to West Virginia may change how we think of waste disposal, and in the long run, help our environment.

According to request filed by attorneys at law Hannah and Hanna PLLC back in August, Black Diamond Power admits to overcharging customers $1,686,338 admits to collecting over a five year period.

The document indicates that the company serves about 4,300 so that’s about $385 per customer.

The company proposes to refund $488, 307 to customers over a five year period which would come through a rate reduction.  But Black Diamond Power wants to treat the remaining money, treat the remaining $1.198 million as a “customer contribution.”

It appears that the Staff of the Public Service Commission filed recommendations on October 1. In that document, the staff of PSC recommends about $900,000 be recorded as a customer contribution and a reduction of rate base.


Kentucky pastors sound off about gay marriage.

A former addict urges drug courts to address the roots of addiction.

The America Legion says the VA is a system worth saving.

 

WVU

Charleston native and West Virginia University graduate student Scott Cushing is in pursuit of one of the holy grails of energy sourcing: instead of using gasoline, or other fossil fuels with harmful emissions, he aims to use water and the sun to harvest hydrogen gas.