March 7, 2023
The Honorable James C. Justice, II
Governor, the State of West Virginia State Capitol Complex
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305
RE: Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 188
Dear Governor Justice:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Gas and Oil Association of WV, Inc. (GO-WV), and its hundreds of members, large and small, I write to express the Association’s request that you sign into law Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 188 (CSSB-188), the Grid Stabilization and Security Act of 2023.
CSSB-188 is legislation that was broadly endorsed by many, including the West Virginia Manufacturers Association, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the West Virginia Energy Users Group. CSSB- 188 would facilitate the construction of more natural gas-fired power plants in West Virginia; would direct Mitch Carmichael, Secretary of Economic Development, to look for and identify potential sites that can be served by natural gas; and would place reasonable and predictable timelines for the permitting process. We were grateful to have the Department of Economic Development’s input as the bill was being drafted.
In addition to the Department of Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, the Public Service Commission, and the state’s large utilities were consulted and did not object to this legislation moving forward.
Currently, there are zero combined cycle natural gas plants in West Virginia, and we’re the 4th largest gas producer in the country. By contrast, Ohio has 13 combined cycle gas plants and Pennsylvania has 26, with more projected to come online. CSSB-188 would send a strong message to the national investor community who seek to invest capital into such electric power generation projects.
Importantly, plants developed under this legislation would not sell directly to West Virginia customers but would instead generate power for the PJM regional wholesale market, which includes West Virginia and 12 other Eastern states-and provide additional grid stability for many years to come. This legislation in no way seeks to replace or displace any current coal-fired generation.
Governor, quite simply, these plants, when built in West Virginia, will bring thousands of construction and permanent jobs, provide millions in tax benefits and spur economic development. For these reasons, GO-WV respectfully requests that you sign CSSB-188 into law and we look forward to joining you upon its signing.
Charlie Burd, Executive Director
GOWV.com | 304.344.9867 | 300 Summers Street, Suite 820, Charleston, WV 25301