A resolution condemning the “assaults on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline” (ACP) from citizen groups was approved by the Rules Committee of the West Virginia House of Delegates on March 6. The proposal was tentatively scheduled for a floor vote before all 100 members of the House of Delegates on March 7 (at this writing had not been taken up). The West Virginia General Assembly is due to adjourn by March 9, by midnight.
House Resolution 11 was introduced February 6 with 49 sponsors, nearly half of the House of Delegates membership. The resolution’s introduction was prompted by a January 8 speech before a West Virginia energy conference by a Dominion Energy lobbyist, who called opponents of the ACP as “rogue environmentalists” and urged the state legislature to condemn them. The speech prompted a strong editorial in the Charleston Gazette-Mail that called the lobbyist’s recommendation “insulting.”
In response to the introduction of the resolution, Angie Rosser, Executive Director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition wrote members of the House Rules Committee, to which the resolution had been referred for consideration, to not advance the proposal “as it undermines the rights of impacted citizens to recourse when laws are violated, and it undermines the legislative branch’s expectation that the laws it creates will be enforced.” As a result, some co-sponsors removed their names from the resolution, but not enough to stop the resolution from being approved by the Rules Committee.