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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s manufacturing community is applauding the West Virginia Legislature for removing a longstanding ban on nuclear power in the Mountain State. Senate Bill 4, which repeals the nuclear ban, passed the full Legislature last week and was signed into law yesterday by Governor Jim Justice. 

“The WVMA and our members long have supported a diverse energy portfolio in West Virginia,” said Rebecca McPhail, president of the West Virginia Manufacturers Association. “As one of the nation’s leading producers of energy, our state has a rich history of powering the region. Repealing the ban on nuclear development provides the Mountain State with an opportunity to expand our energy portfolio in the future.”

McPhail said swift actions of Senate President Craig Blair and House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, along with Delegate Brandon Steel who championed the effort in the House of Delegates, should be commended. She noted that manufacturers are some of the state’s largest energy users and depend on the availability of reliable and affordable energy options. She notes that today’s manufacturers are also interested in adding clean energy options to the production mix. 

“Nuclear energy offers an affordable, reliable, and clean energy source for consumers,” she said. “The nuclear industry also supports great jobs – currently providing nearly half a million jobs in the Unites States. As demands for energy increase, and energy transitions occur, nuclear power can provide stability and security in our energy markets.”

McPhail said she has received statements in support of SB4 from related industries as well, including the following:

The American Chemistry Council applauds West Virginia’s decisive action in passing S.B. 4, paving the way for a diversified state energy portfolio.  Meeting the climate challenge will require a broad set of sources, including efficiency, renewables, nuclear, hydropower, and key fossil technologies. Advanced nuclear technologies have the potential to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions while helping to keep electricity affordable and reliable for U.S. manufacturers. 

  • Charles Franklin, Senior Director, Energy, Climate & Environment 
    The American Chemistry Council

As the largest source of zero-carbon power in the U.S., nuclear provides manufacturers with a vital source of electricity, ensuring reliable and affordable clean energy. Demand for electricity in the U.S. continues to grow, so strengthening the nuclear we have and building out more is the right move. Manufacturers applaud West Virginia’s move to repeal their ban and support nuclear power once again. Government policies affecting energy, including permitting processes, land access and those pertaining to the electric grid, must place a priority on reliability and must preserve manufacturers’ global competitiveness. Signing S.B. 4 into law is a critical step towards addressing global climate change while preserving our competitiveness.

  • Rachel Jones, Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy
    The National Association of Manufacturers 

The West Virginia Energy Users Group is thankful for the Legislature and its leadership in repealing the ban on nuclear power production. In a diverse energy state like West Virginia, all options should be on the table for both electricity production and customer consumption, and there should be no barriers or artificial support for any electric generation resource.  The repeal is a logical and welcome step for West Virginia to embrace and allow free market competition, not more government regulation or restriction, to dictate innovation and development in the energy arena.

  • Derrick Williamson, Executive Director 
    West Virginia Energy Users Group 

We applaud the West Virginia Legislature for ending the ban on nuclear power generation. Coupled with West Virginia’s leadership on carbon capture and sequestration, small modular reactors can play a critical role in furthering the state’s economic development efforts by continuing to attract businesses that require stable baseload electricity and supporting affordable, reliable energy for businesses and families.

  • Chris Ventura, Midwest Regional Director
    Consumer Energy Alliance