Recent events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and lingering supply chain disruptions, have once again highlighted the importance of ensuring the nation’s energy independence. With the push for greater domestic production, states are seeking to expand their portfolios with an “all of the above” energy strategy. Despite its small size, West Virginia is the fifth largest state for energy production. While West Virginia has traditionally been known for coal, the Mountain State has moved to expand its energy portfolio in recent years. In 2022, the Legislature passed bills ending the state’s moratorium on new nuclear energy sites, promoting geothermal energy development, and supporting the use of hydroelectric power. During this two-day Masterclass, participants learned about West Virginia’s energy strategy and ways to emulate and implement these processes in their home states. 

Legislators, legislative staff, and agency officials from across the country convened in Wheeling, West Virginia, for the “All of the Above” Policy Masterclass. Twenty-nine participants from 15 states – Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming – and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia participated in the Masterclass. West Virginia Senate President and Lieutenant Governor Craig Blair, 2023 – 2024 Chair of CSG South, provided pre-recorded opening remarks. 

Over three days, participants engaged in programming covering myriad topics related to energy policy. Briefings included topics such as energy security and resilience, federal funding opportunities to strengthen the grid and incentivize local economic development, the future of nuclear energy, permitting policy and reform, carbon capture and sequestration, solar energy and new economy jobs in Appalachia, and the future of energy generation in America. Participants also toured the Alliance Resource Partners’ Tunnel Ridge surface mine and had the opportunity to “choose their own adventure”, opting between an underground mine tour at American Consolidated Natural Resources, or a tour of the MPX Majorsville plant.  

Experts from several prestigious organizations briefed attendees, including the following: 

  • Arnold Ventures
  • National Association of State Energy Officials
  • HolTec International
  • Brookings Institute
  • Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy
  • American Petroleum Institute
  • Diversified Energy
  • Equinox Global Solutions
  • Edelen Renewables
  • West Virginia Legislature
  • Louisiana Legislature

Hosted by CSG South, participants in this Masterclass increased their knowledge of energy policy and examples of state solutions by interacting with subject matter experts and colleagues from across the country.

  • Speaker Roger Hanshaw, West Virginia
  • Senator Bob Hensgens, Louisiana, Vice Chair, CSG South Energy & Environment Committee
  • Senator Mary Boren, Oklahoma
  • Assemblywoman Tracy Brown May, Nevada
  • Representative Jon Conrad, Wyoming
  • Representative Aaron Crossley, Missouri
  • Representative Jack Fortner, Arkansas
  • Senator Hillman Frazier, Mississippi
  • Representative Donna Givens, Alabama
  • Delegate Scot Heckert, West Virginia
  • Representative Jason Hughes, Louisiana
  • Senator Scott Kawasaki, Alaska
  • Representative Cathy Kipp, Colorado
  • Representative Greg Kmetz, Montana
  • Delegate Daniel Linville, West Virginia
  • Representative Kevin McDugle, Oklahoma
  • Representative Orlando Paden, Mississippi
  • Member of Legislative Assembly Iain Rankin, Nova Scotia
  • Senator Cody Rogers, Oklahoma
  • Delegate George Street, West Virginia
  • Representative Lisa Subeck, Wisconsin
  • Senator Robin Webb, Kentucky
  • Delegate Mark Zatezalo, West Virginia
  • Mr. Robert Akers, West Virginia
  • Ms. Abby Berquist, South Carolina
  • Mr. Jeff Billings, West Virginia
  • Ms. Endra Curry, South Carolina
  • Mr. Mark Hendrick, South Carolina
  • Mr. Zachary Rogers, Arkansas


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