It seemed for a while like passing Marcellus drilling bans was all the rage for cities in West Virginia. Now it seems they can’t repeal those bans fast enough. The latest to repeal a previous ban is Wellsburg:
Natural gas drilling in Wellsburg is legal again.
City Manager Mark Henne says council rescinded an ordinance passed in May with a 5-3 vote Tuesday.
Wellsburg was among four cities that banned Marcellus Shale gas drilling within their boundaries.
New Martinsville is planning to repeal its ban, too. A final vote is set for Sept. 5.
Morgantown and Lewisburg are standing by their bans, though Morgantown’s is being challenged in court.
Last month, Chesapeake Energy withdrew a promised $30,000 gift for band instruments at Wellsburg Middle School, saying it must support communities that support the industry.
But Henne says that wasn’t the reason for Wellsburg’s decision.
He says the city’s concerns eased after acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered new emergency rules be drafted to govern the rapidly growing industry.
*Charleston Gazette/AP (Aug 10, 2011) – Wellsburg rescinds Marcellus gas drilling ban