West Virginia Senate passes solar bill with nods to coal

West Virginia

FILE – This Aug. 6, 2019, file photo shows Dominion Energy’s Scott Solar farm in Powhatan, Va. On Friday, Aug. 9, the Labor Department reports on U.S. producer price inflation in July. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

CHARLESTON, WV (AP) – The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill encouraging power companies to use solar energy in a bid to lure businesses to the state. But they’re making it clear that they don’t want the coal industry to feel left out.

Lawmakers approved the bill Friday. It would create a regulatory program for utilities to use a small amount of renewable energy. Many lawmakers were quick to note that it won’t hurt the fossil fuel industry.

The state commerce department pushed for the bill, saying big companies want to know that they can use renewable energy sources before relocating to a state.

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