June 15, 2012

Senators Get Look At WV Energy Sites | West Virginia MetroNews

Two members of the U.S. Senate, not from West Virginia, are getting a close-up look at different ways energy is produced in the Mountain State.

Senators Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, began a two-day tour Friday. They are traveling the state as guests of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin. All three are members of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee and either Murkowski or Wyden will likely be the chair of the committee next year.

The first stop on the tour was in Grant County at the Dominion Mount Storm Power Station and NEDPower Wind Farm on the banks of Mount Storm Lake.

Manchin says the tour is about showing off West Virginia as a state that is “all in” using a variety of energy sources. The Mount Storm facility includes both a coal-fired power plant on one side of the lake and a wind farm on the other side. Both energy sources feed into the same power transmission grid.

Senator Murkowski said she learned a lot on the tour.

“It was important for me to be able to look out and envision 17 miles of wind turbines and then look across the valley and see the coal plant here and recognize what comes from each and what the cost is,” she said.

Sen. Wyden says when forming a national energy policy a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work.

“That’s a prescription for writing bad laws,” he said. “What we know is we are going to have to find a way to be energy independent.”

The group moved on to a mountaintop removal mining removal site in Sharples, Logan County, Friday afternoon. A wrap-up news conference is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Yeager Airport in Charleston.