Roundup of the week’s activities

On Thursday we sent an action alert about S.B. 565, which allows gas well drillers to enter private property, bulldoze roads, clear timber, and construct a well pad without obtaining a well permit. We’re sorry to report that it passed the EIM committee and now goes to the floor.  Please contact senators and tell them to vote NO on this bill!

S.B. 508 passed out of Senate Judiciary on Thursday, moving you one step closer to being unable to bring a nuisance lawsuit if your life is made miserable by noise, dust, etc. from natural gas extraction. The Chamber of Commerce likes this bill.

You should know that Senator Mike Romano argued valiantly for allowing the courts to decide whether a case has merit (what a concept!), but his proposed amendments were rejected and the committee voted to advance the bill.

So here’s the bottom line, I can’t resist:  our legislators want you to have the freedom to discriminate against other people if that’s what your religion suggests.  They want you to have the freedom to freeload the benefits of union representation without being required to join that union.  And they want you to be able to carry a firearm without training or a permit.  But mountaineers may not be free to avail themselves of the court system if they feel they’ve been injured, no no no!

Contact senators if you think this bill should be rejected.

Read David Gutman’s (Gazette-Mail) coverage of both the above bills’ advancement here.

Last week we told you about S. B. 523, which creates a one cent/gallon fee on water used for fracking.  A similar bill, H.B. 4567, has been introduced in the House, sponsored by Delegates Fleischauer, Perdue, Pushkin, Rowe, Morgan, Guthrie, Hornbuckle and Moore.

S.B. 180, which is the Senate vehicle for water quality rules, passed the Senate EIM committee on Thursday and will be taken up next by Judiciary.

H.B. 4053, the House’s DEP rules “bundle,” was on second reading in the House on Friday afternoon, and passed with one amendment, by Delegate Fast. The amendment was to “draw a line in the sand” against EPA over-reach by refusing to comply with an EPA standard regulating wood stoves.  All members present voted yes.  Take that, EPA!

One more “regulatory reform” bill was introduced this week, with Senator Blair as the lead sponsor.  Among other things, S.B. 619 requires that an economic impact statement accompany any rule submitted to the Legislative Rule-Making Review Committee.  It also has provisions pertaining to incorporation of public comments, and sunsetting any new or revised rule promulgated after April 1, 2016.

S.B. 88 passed out of the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week, and now moves on to Finance.  This bill creates the West Virginia Water Sustainability Institute, which is to study and create “solutions to separate individual chemicals out of water.”

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  1. Hopefully, this will happen only to idiots and the supporters who put them there. Unfortunately, that is never how it works. Arch Coal destroyed our family farm and completely wrecked our neighbor’s home. Then they filed for bankruptcy….all for coal rights sold in 1903.

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