After passing a floor vote in the House, HB 4268 (Forced Leasing/”Cotenancy”) has moved to the Senate. The members of the Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee will be the first to consider this bill which would allow large out of state gas corporations to take property away from West Virginians– forcing them to sign a lease, with no due process.

The bill could be taken up for discussion or action as soon as the committee’s 9:00 am meeting on Wednesday, February 21st.

We need you to contact the members of the Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee TODAY and tell them that a vote for HB 4268 is a vote to legalize theft.

Tell them we don’t appreciate Swamp Dwellers who take backdoor bribes in the form of campaign cash from industry PACs and lawyers and then vote away our rights.

WARNING: Seven out of thirteen members of this committee have actively sought to undermine property owners’ rights at some point in the past– OVER HALF of this committee have found themselves in the Swamp, looking for ways to take your property and give it away to large, out-of-state gas and oil companies.

The good news is that over half of this committee have also fought to protect our property rights, with seven members voting against forced pooling in 2017.

Randy Smith, Donna Boley, and Michael Woelful voted YES to Petroleum Forced Drilling in 2015. Notably, Dave Sypolt and Doug Facemire voted against Petroleum Forced Drilling in 2015. They knew it was wrong then, and we certainly hope they remember that it is wrong today.

Craig Blair, Sue Cline, Ryan Ferns, Chandler Swope, and Michael Woelful voted YES on SB 576, the 2017 attempt to pass Forced Pooling.

The NO votes on SB 576 last year may be a promising sign– Chair Randy Smith and Vice Chair Dave Sypolt voted against the bill, as did Delegates Boley, Facemire, Jeffries, Mann, and Ojeda. Remember to thank them for doing the right thing, and please ask them to keep standing up for our rights!

Senate Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee Members
Randy Smith, Chair:; (304) 357-7995; (301) 616-0575

Dave Sypolt, Vice Chair:; (304) 357-7914; (304) 698-5299; (304) 698-5299

Craig Blair:; (304) 357-7867; (304) 754-5040; (304) 754-9031

Donna Boley:; (304) 357-7905; (304) 684-3266; (304) 684-3266

Sue Cline:; (304) 357-7807; (304) 222-7484

Mark Drennan:; (304) 357-7901; (681) 235-9178; (304) 343-0728

Doug Facemire:; (304) 357-7845; (304) 765-2231; (304) 364-9903

Ryan Ferns:; (304) 357-7918; (no home number given); (304) 280-7133

Glenn Jeffries:; (304) 357-7866; (304) 586-1156; (304) 989-2223

Kenny Mann:; (304) 357-7849; (304) 646-6089

Richard Ojeda:; (304) 357-7857; (304) 792-9833

Chandler Swope:; (304) 357-7843; (304) 920-2460

Mike Woelfel:; (304) 357-7956; (no home number given); (304) 522-6249


For your convenience, here is a list of Senate Energy Commtitee Email addresses for copying and pasting.

Senate Energy Emails: