Only days after the Legislature ended its 2012 regular session, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin met with members of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce on March 14 to discuss his thoughts on the 60 day session.

Tomblin discussed legislative successes in mine safety, workforce, continued tax assistance to the timber industry, and in his work to reducing illicit drug use through new legislation passed during the session.

The Charleston Chamber supported legislation during the session that would authorize the sale and transfer of natural gas vehicle (NGV) tax credits. The proposed legislation would have advanced new infrastructure for natural gas vehicles and allow local, county and state government to save taxpayer dollars by converting their vehicle fleets to cleaner burning natural gas.

With the recent Marcellus and Utica Shale gas discoveries, natural gas has become important commodity in West Virginia. As a result, natural gas could be utilized as a cleaner, alternative fuel.

Although the legislation didn’t make it through the final phase of the legislative process during this session, the Charleston Chamber remains hopeful the value and savings that can come from the use of natural gas vehicles for West Virginia businesses and citizens will be capitalized on at the next opportune time, be it during a special session or the next legislative session which will begin in February 2013.

Governor Tomblin indicated he is supportive of the new jobs and infrastructure that could be developed around the state to support natural gas vehicles.

Charleston Chamber Chairman Mike Basile and Chamber President Matt Ballard said they were grateful that Tomblin took time out to speak to the Chamber about policies that will support job creation and build stronger communities for future generations.

“This event provided an excellent opportunity for Chamber board members to hear directly from the Governor on the issues that matter to them and their businesses,” Basile said.

“We are thankful the governor could take time out of his busy schedule and share his thoughts on the legislative session,” Ballard added.


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