CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia is well-known as a coal and natural gas state, but nuclear energy could be added to the mix. And West Virginians have differing opinions on what this will mean for the state.
Friday, the public got emotional discussing their views on the nuclear power plant bill that passed the West Virginia State Senate with a vote of 24 to seven, with three members absent. The State Senate voted to repeal the ban on nuclear power plants that was enacted in 1996.
Critics say the problem they are worried about is the nuclear waste created by the plants.
“I think the plants themselves are fairly safe. I am concerned about, as I said, what we do with the waste,” said State Sen. Hannah Geffert, (D) Berkeley.
But supporters of nuclear power plants say having the option available is crucial in trying to get new companies to move to the Mountain State.
“House Bill 2802 is going to be an amazing thing for West Virginia. It’s going to open up jobs and community impact,” said Meghan Hutchinson, West Virginia resident.
“I think it’s important as West Virginia to have diversity in our energy portfolio. I think competition is good, so again, this doesn’t create nuclear power plants, it just simply says we’re open to the idea,” said Barry Holstein, West Virginia resident.
The final vote is likely to take place next week in the House of Delegates.