Corporate Whiners Whine, Herholdt Cowers

Last week, at the coal industry whine fest, WV Division of Energy director Jeff Herholdt seems to have spent his time cringing among the corporate alpha males, ever faithful to their every whim.

In Ken Ward’s Gazette story, Herholdt finally comes clean about the purpose of the WV Alternative and Renewable Portfolio Standard:

Herholdt assured coal industry officials that the state’s “alternative energy portfolio” requirement would have very little impact on coal production or use.

“This is not bringing in the other energy sources,” Herholdt said. “We’re not <co >incentivizing renewables with this portfolio.”

Herholdt said that many other states are saying they won’t want coal-fired power, and having an “alternative portfolio” standard on the books is as much as public relations effort by the state as anything else.

and

“We’re the only state that has an alternative portfolio standard that would be met with 100 percent coal,” Herholdt said.

Gosh.  Ya think?  Finally, a WV government official drops the “all of the above” BS that Manchin has blathered since he introduced his ARPS bill in the 2009 legislative session.  And I have been saying exactly what Herholdt revealed for years now.

In a 2011 story over at Grounded, Pam Kasey came to the same conclusion:

If anyone thought having a renewable energy portfolio standard in West Virginia would mean more wind or hydroelectric or solar generation facilities in the state, they were wrong.

As the last of six utility plans for compliance with the 2009 Alternative and Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard are under review for approval by the Public Service Commission, the results are basically in.

The major utilities will meet the state’s requirements through 2025 with no new generation.

So when a politician tries to tell you that the ARPS is “WV’s cap and trade” (as did many Republicans in the 2012 election) or that the ARPS will lead to a renewable renaissance in WV (as did many Democrats) just remember Mr. Herholdt bragging about how WV can meet all of its ARPS targets “with 100 percent coal.”

Mr. Herholdt also referred to the new final version of the WV energy plan.  This plan supports an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS), which would set specific targets for WV’s power companies to push them to invest in reducing demand.

Establishing binding energy savings goals through EERS can help a program achieve greater savings than in the absence of a legislative mandate.

Mr. Herholdt needs to fire whoever wrote that impenetrable sentence.  Here is my translation for those of you who speak English:  Creating an EERS through law is the most effective way to achieve real energy savings.

So, we now have a bill introduced in the legislature, HB 2210 to do what?  Create, by law, an EERS.  Why have we heard no public statement in support of HB 2210 from either Mr. Herholdt or Gov. Tomblin?  They support an EERS in their brand new energy plan.

Or, is the state’s energy plan “as much as public relations effort by the state as anything else,” just like the ARPS?

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