Looks Like Forced Pooling is, After 5 Years, Coming to WV

Sadly, it appears that West Virginia House Bill (HB) 2688 is all but passed in the WV legislature. The WV legislature meets for 60 days each year (we wish it were that way in New York!). There’s only three days left in the session for this year and HB2688 has been on a freight train fast track. We told you last week the bill had passed the House and had gone to the Senate (see WV Forced Pooling HB2688 Passes House, Heads to Senate). The bill was voted on and passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The next stop is a vote by the full Senate and Charleston insiders predict it will pass with a minimum of fuss. This forced pooling bill is supposedly different than previous versions that failed to pass over the past five years. HB2688 requires 80% of surrounding land to be leased before the final 20% can be forced to allow drilling under (not on) their land. Good for the 80% and for drillers, but it violates the sacrosanct property rights of the 20%. In addition to HB2688, a second bill important to the oil and gas industry is poised to pass, Senate Bill (SB) 423, which will lessen the reporting burden from a previous law that requires all above ground storage tanks to be registered…

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