As The Highlands Voice goes to press, the Legislature is still in session. Anything could happen. HB 2506 (Cancer Creek) has passed both the House and the Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature to become law. There is a last ditch effort to persuade the Governor to veto it but that is unlikely. The odds of drawing to an inside straight are much better than the odds of a veto.
SB 687 (Coal) has passed the Senate 32-2, with Senators Beach and Romano voting in the negative. It has gone to the House where it will be considered by the House Energy Committee. A public hearing was scheduled for April 3.
It is said that somebody, somewhere will make book on absolutely anything. With SB 687, however, the legislative process is too uncertain and too unpredictable for anyone to establish a betting line. We will just have to wait and see. While no one ever went broke betting on the coal industry, things are always unpredictable.
The fate of the LEEP bill is equally unpredictable. It made early progress last year and is still in the legislative sausage grinder at this late stage so it still may make it over the finish line.
The bill to take away the wind industry tax break has a tougher time ahead. It would have to make it through two committees and a floor vote. That is a lot to go through this late in the session. If someone powerful really wanted it to pass it might but the smart money is against it.