CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Some West Virginia legislators are excited for a potential switch to clean energy.
The newest federal infrastructure package has many talking points involving clean energy initiatives, and Delegate Kayla Young of the 35th district hopes to see the Mountain State take advantage.
Young believes the state’s roughly 10,000 coal miners have the opportunity to switch to clean energy fields, and the state is already making good progress on some initiatives like the Raleigh County Solar Farm.
“I’m excited about the future of the infrastructure package,” Young said. “We’ve really seen coal decline over the past several decades. It’s a giant market shift and I’m excited for what the future can bring.”
But clean energy has not been fully-welcomed in West Virginia. Many locals have spoken out against clean energy initiatives and hope to see coal remain as the dominant form of energy production.
Some have even claimed initiatives like solar farms and wind turbines to be ugly and bad for tourism. Young believes this rhetoric is common, but is not a strong argument against the switch to clean energy.
“I think people will say it because they’re running out of reasons. I hear all the time that people don’t want solar panels because they’re not made in America. Well a lot of things aren’t made in America. And that just opens the door for talking about the domestic manufacturing of solar panels, because that’s another sector where West Virginia could be on the forefront.”
President Biden’s infrastructure plan calls for Congress to invest $100 billion in building up a new electric transmission system, modernize power generation and slowly move towards carbon neutral energy production, and more.