WVLEG: House Marcellus Shale Committee Members to Hold Public Meetings, Leaves Off State Senate Members
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By Steven Allen Adams
After meeting for the first time this week, the House of Delegates members of the Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale want to take the committee out on the road and into the heart of the Marcellus Shale region, but left their State Senate colleagues off the announcement.
The House committee members announced Friday afternoon they plan to host public hearing on Marcellus Shale in Wheeling July 21, Morgantown July 25, and Clarksburg July 27. The committee members plan to announce times and locations for the meeting next week.
“The committee members have heard much about both the potential benefits and problems associated with the Marcellus Shale development – what we are now looking for are suggestions on measures that should be included in a new state law that encourages efficient development of the resource while addresses local and environmental concerns,” said Del. Tim Manchin (D-Marion), the co-chair of the Marcellus Shale committee.
House committee members are Dels. Barbara Fleischauer (D-Monongalia), Tom Campbell (D-Greenbrier), Woody Ireland (R-Ritchie), and Bill Anderson (R-Wood). Noticeably absent from the the press release were references to the State Senators that also make up up the Marcellus Shale committee. In a Friday afternoon phone call Manchin said there was no reason why the Senate committee members were not invited.
“I don’t know why,” Manchin said. “It’s something that (House committee members) were interested in doing. We just set it up on our own and (Senate committee members) are certainly welcome to come if they want.”
State Sen. Foug Facemire (D-Braxton), the co-chair of the Marcellus Shale Committee, was unavilable for comment. Senators on the committee include Corey Palumbo (D-Kanawha), Herb Snyder (D-Jefferson), Orphy Klempa (D-Ohio) and Karen Facemyer (R-Jackson).
The Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale held their first two meetings Tuesday night and Monday morning, hearing from fracking experts, environmental activists, property owners, and officials with he City of Morgantown, which banned fracking as far out as one mile outside their city limits. The meeting coincided with a rally Monday at the Capitol calling for a moratorium on fracking, and a Tuesday announcement from Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, using his powers as acting governor to sign an executive order creating emergency rules for Marcellus Shale drilling.
The Marcellus Shale Committee is using S.B. 424 – a Marcellus Shale regulation bill passed by the State Senate during the 2011 general session, but died in the House of Delegates – as a template. The committee is looking at ways to further amend and approve that bill.
The Marcellus Shale region stretches from New York to Tennessee, holding pockets of natural gas. Natural gas drillers use a process of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – techniques which use a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals – to break natural gas out of the shale formations. According to the West Virginia Department of Environment Protection there have been 571 vertical Marcellus and 866 horizontal Marcellus permits issued, with roughly 800 active Marcellus Shale wells in the state.
- WVLEG: Legislature Holds Two Days of Meetings on Marcellus Shale (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
- WVLEG: WV4MOM Rallies for Marcellus Shale Moratorium (with video) (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
- WVGOV: Tomblin Proposes New Marcellus Shale Regulations (with video) (westvirginia.watchdog.org)
Posted under Economic Development, Economy, Energy, Environment, Featured, House of Delegates, Legislation, Legislature, News, Politics, Regulations, State Senate, West Virginia.
Tags: Corey Palumbo, Doug Facemire, Earl Ray Tomblin, Herb Snyder, Hydraulic fracturing, Joint Select Committee on Marcellus Shale, Marcellus Formation, Marcellus Shale, Natural gas, Tim Manchin, West Virginia
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