CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Delegate Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln) has the announced the movement of House Bill 2688 from the House Energy Committee to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill provides for the unitization of interests in drilling units in connection with horizontal oil or gas wells.
Delegate Eldridge stands against the bill, as he feels that it violates the rights of West Virginians.
“This bill is dangerous to people’s property rights. People’s property must be protected and kept safe.”
The bill would allow mining companies to collect natural gas from lands where the owners cannot be found or where the owner has refused to sign mineral leasing rights. It also provides the application requirements and other standards of review for drillers to acquiesce the natural gas. Compensation may be granted to those whose land was pooled.
A public hearing was held yesterday afternoon to allow the public to voice their opinions on the bill. A number of oil and gas industry leaders spoke in support, while small business and surface owners spoke against the bill.
The bill is pending in the Judiciary Committee after being reported from the Energy Committee. It will undergo further discussion and amendment in the Judiciary Committee.