Delegate Fleischauer helped defeat HB 2154 in 1997, which would have allowed corporations to refuse to disclose any information about investigations of environmental accidents. If it had passed, an environmental audit privilege would have been created, whereby compliance with environmental laws would be determined not by an objective investigation by a state agency, but rather by an internal corporation investigation, the results of which would not have to be disclosed to the public. Such investigative reports must continue to be made available to the public because the bill did not pass.
Fearing the potential for dramatic increases in consumer utility prices (which happened in other states), Delegate Fleischauer played an important role in the successful effort to derail proposed electric utility deregulation in 1998 (HB 4277). Although legislation giving the Public Service Commission jurisdiction to establish a deregulation plan was passed, it gave the Legislature veto power over any such plan. The Public Service Commission has never submitted a deregulation plan to the Legislature for approval, presumably because of the fallout from the Enron scandal, which occurred shortly after passage of the revised bill.
As one of the ten members of the Select Joint Interim Committee on Marcellus Shale Regulation, Delegate Fleischauer listened to hundreds testify at public hearings in Wheeling, Morgantown, and Clarksburg and helped hammer out 25 amendments to the bill passed by the Senate in 2010. The final version of the Marcellus Shale Regulation bill, HB 401, passed during the 4th Special Session of the Legislature in December 2011. The bill included many positive changes, such as funding for additional inspectors, and it required studies to determine acceptable levels for air and noise pollution near residences. However, many important protections were watered down. Marcellus shale regulation remains a work in progress – there are still not enough inspectors or funding for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), penalties are weak, and issues relating to waste storage, public health, safety and the rights of landowners need further regulation.
Delegate Fleischauer was the lead sponsor of HB 4028, which passed in 2008. This legislation authorized counties and municipalities to enter into contracts over a period of several years for the purpose of saving energy costs. Allowing this particular type of longer term contract has resulted in millions of dollars in savings to local governments, which have changed lighting, increased insulation, etc. The Governor's Renewable and Alternative Energy Act, passed in 2009, set targets for reducing energy usage and lowering emissions. It mirrored provisions that had been introduced by Delegate Fleischauer for several preceding years (HB 2980).
Although she was not a sponsor, Delegate Fleischauer spent more time on SB 373 than any other legislation during the 2014 session. She served on two of the three House committees to which it was referred. Passed in response to a coal-washing chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley that affected over 300,000 West Virginians, including all of the legislators who were in session at the time, the bill was designed to prevent future threats to drinking water supplies. SB 373 required inspection and registration of all above-ground storage tanks in the state, and that special attention be paid to potential contaminants in zones of critical concern on rivers and tributaries near water intakes. Public involvement in water protection plans to prevent future spills was mandated. Further, the bill required that there be a study of spill health effects and increased fines for violations. Industry representatives, particularly from the oil and gas industry, complained loudly about the inspection requirements and other mandates. In the 2015 session, with Republican majorities in both Houses, they were successful in convincing the Legislature to dramatically reduce the number of tanks that would be affected by the law. SB 423 included several other changes that lessened the stringency of the legislation.