The West Virginia Legislature sent a bill Wednesday to the desk of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that would open up the state’s portion of the massive Marcellus shale deposit to drilling. The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously and the House of Delegates 92-5, will require buffer zones around wells, advance notices to property owners and the public, and will increase permit fees.
The following statement from John Monaghan, an energy and environment policy expert at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Jim Lakely at email@example.com and 312/731-9364.
“Although I disagree with the way this legislation was handled through a rushed special session, much of what is in the bill is fair and reasonable. This framework provides a strong set of working rules and regulatory certainty for Marcellus operators, and its impact fee was narrowly tailored and designed to address actual impacts. While other states should not follow West Virginia’s model when it comes to process, they appear to have done a decent job on the policy.”
The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.