On Friday, February 9th, at 8:30 AM, there will be a public hearing on HB 4268 in the House Chamber of the Capitol building in Charleston. We recommend arriving before the Capitol doors open at 8:00 AM– there will be a line and you will have to sign in to speak at the hearing.
This bill, written by out-of-state gas companies, is called “co-tenancy,” but it’s simply Forced Pooling lite.
This public hearing gives us an important opportunity to tell our legislators directly that this bill will violate the rights of property owners. West Virginians have the right to make financial agreements about their property freely, without being forced into bad deals with no right to an appeal. West Virginians have the right to say NO.
Although we were assured that a public hearing would happen on Wednesday, February 7th, the Swamp Dwellers pulled a bait-and-switch and changed the hearing date to Friday, February 9th.
Playing procedural games is disrespectful to the West Virginians who pay the bills at the Capitol, and we don’t appreciate it.
We wouldn’t be surprised if deliberately switching hearing dates was meant to keep people from being in town on the 7th.
Why wouldn’t the Swamp Dwellers want a bunch of angry, anti-forced-pooling citizens in town on the 7th?
Because that’s the same day that high-paid gas lobbyists from the Shale Energy Alliance are hosting a Whiskey, Wine, and Policy
party for legislators at the Charleston Marriott. SEA is based in Pennsylvania.
Why is a group of out-of-state gas lobbyists trying to ply our West Virginia legislators with expensive booze?
We certainly hope that none of the legislators who may soon be voting on Forced Pooling/”Cotenancy” will be attending.
HB 4268 is a Forced Pooling bill which the gas and oil industry is trying to rebrand as “cotenancy.” This bill is a vicious attack on property rights because it would allow a gas company to force development on a tract if they have made agreements with the owners of 75% of the mineral rights. This bill will enable big out-of-state gas companies to steal the mineral rights of native West Virginians.
On Tuesday, January 30th, the House Energy Committee voted 14-10 to advance HB 4268 to the House Judiciary Committee. Soon after the vote, concerned citizens requested a public hearing on the bill.
Drain the Swamp WV’s coverage of the bill here