Last week we told you about S.B. 508, which takes away Mountaineers’ freedom to file nuisance lawsuits against those who might make their lives miserable via noise, dust, etc., as long as the perpetrator has not broken a law, violated a permit, etc. And drillers’ permits have no provisions related to noise, etc.
The bill passed the full Senate on Tuesday, by a vote of 20-12; the roll call is here, and Gazette-Mail reports are here and here. Perhaps you’d like to let senators know how you feel about their votes.
S.B. 565, which allows drillers to build roads and well pads with only a storm water permit, also passed the full Senate on Tuesday, with only one dissenting vote: Majority leader Jeff Kessler. Please consider thanking Senator Kessler.
One bit of good news is that DEP Secretary Randy Huffman has expressed opposition to the bill; you can read a Gazette-Mail story about that here.
Don’t miss Ken Ward’s latest “Coal Tattoo” post, which discusses these and other statehouse shenanigans.
On Saturday morning (2/20) the House Energy Committee originated H.B. 4639, which allows industry to “develop” a co-owned tract of minerals, with the consent of only a simple majority of the minerals’ co-owners. Andrew Brown’s Gazette-Mail account of the bill’s origination is here. At press time (Friday afternoon), the bill was on the agenda of the House Judiciary Committee.