The Swamp Dwellers are in a frenzy about Forced Leasing/”Cotenancy,” and the large out-of-state gas corporations who have been pushing and paying for the right to steal West Virginians’ property are getting impatient.

HB 4268 is up for a vote on the House Floor on Thursday, February 15.

It’s time to call your legislators, call the targets below, and then start calling House Republicans (remember that House Democrats have come out against forced pooling as a caucus for this session).

In case you missed it: During the second reading of the bill, the House passed three amendments. The first is to fund PEIA with 50% of the unclaimed funds resulting from forcing unlocatable tenants into a lease.

The second is to make the bill applicable when more than seven people are affected.

The third is to protect unlocatable and non-consenting co-owners forced into a lease; in the event of either a new project on the property, or a project developing a different shale formation, they will be able to negotiate new deals. Of course, this is the kind of protective provision that the big gas and oil donors told their bought Swamp Dwellers not to include in the bill.

Delegates Fleischauer and Pethtel proposed an amendment that would have changed the bill so that 90% of rights owners would have to agree to develop before a gas corporation would be able to force a lease on the remaining 10%. Swamp Dwellers Zatezalo and Shott fought this particular protection tooth and claw. Zatezalo made the nonsensical point that pitting 75-consenting-owners to 25%-nonconsenting-owners is a fair balance. Shott opposed the amendment with the claim that passing the bill as-is would help do things like fund PEIA; minutes later rose in opposition to the amendment to fund PEIA. Unfortunately, the Swamp Dwellers killed this amendment.

Call these legislators and remind them that HB 4268 is a bill which will allow large, out of state gas corporations to STEAL property from West Virginians.

Try to get through to these three and drag them back out of the Swamp.

Delegate Erikka Storch– (304) 340-3378
Delegate Patrick Martin– (304) 340-3123
Delegate Zack Maynard– (304) 340-3152

Call House Republicanshere is the entire Delegate Roster.

For your convenience, here is a list of all House Delegates’ email addresses for copying and pasting into an email.