Updates and Alerts

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Co-Tenancy Law Now in Effect; WVU Research Project Seeks to Interview Landowners
Updates and Alerts WVSORO June 8, 2018
Earlier this week, the “Co-Tenancy Moderation and Majority Protection Act” enacted during the 2018 legislative session, went into effect. WV-SORO has added two new pages to our website to help surface and mineral owners better understand the new law and what to do if they are affected. We've also provided a brief update on some court cases we've benn involved in or monitoring that affect West Virginia surface owners and some mineral owners. Finally, we wanted to let you know about a WVU research project seeking to interview landowners to better understand their experiences with natural gas extraction near their homes and in their communities. More
Issues: FrackingHorizontal wellsLand useMinerals-RoyaltiesNuisance suitsPooling
Send Us Your Questions on Co-Tenancy; Community Organizing Summit
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 26, 2018
Now that the legislative session is over, we are starting to put together more information to help surface and mineral owners understand the new co-tenancy law, which goes into effect June 3, and you can help us by sending us your questions. We will use your responses to help us develop answers to a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about co-tenancy. Once the FAQ is ready we'll make it available on our website. In the meantime, our co-founder and attorney, Dave McMahon will lead a session on Co-Tenancy, Forced Pooling, Right To Trespass, and Protecting Your Land on Saturday, April 7 at the Community Organizing Summit at Jackson's Mill. The summit runs April 6-8 and is open to members of grassroots groups and individuals, especially those who want to develop skills and tools to protect their communities from oil and gas extraction and related infrastructure development. More details here. More
Issues: FrackingHorizontal wellsMarcellus shaleMinerals-RoyaltiesPipelinesPollutionPooling
“Co-Tenancy” Advances to the Senate Floor Unchanged
Updates and Alerts WVSORO March 1, 2018
Since we wrote to you last week, the “co-tenancy” bill (HB 4268), has passed two committees unchanged and is now on the Senate floor. In other news, the Senate unanimously passed SB 360, which would change the way royalties are calculated for flat-rate leases. Unfortunately, most of the bills that were a priority for WV-SORO this legislative session are dead because they were not taken up by their assigned committees and sent to the floor in time to meet yesterday’s deadline (often referred to as Crossover Day) for bills to be out of the house of origin. More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsLand re-unionMinerals-RoyaltiesNoisePooling
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Passes House of Delegates
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 19, 2018
On Thursday, the House of Delegates passes a the “co-tenancy” bill (HB 4268), with 60 votes for, and 40 votes against. As the bill came to the floor from the House Judiciary Committee it contained important protections for surface owners, requiring their consent for any surface disturbance whenever the co-tenancy law is used to develop the mineral tract beneath a surface owners’ land or into any neighboring mineral tract, regardless of whether the surface owner owns an interest in the mineral tract being developed. This is significant. The bill also contained protections for the non-consenting, and missing and unknown mineral owners that were not included in the introduced bill. On the floor, two other amendments were adopted that provide additional protections for these mineral owners. HB 4268 is now in the Senate where it has been assigned to the Energy, Industry, and Mining Committee, and the Judiciary Committee. More
Issues: Eminent domainFrackingHorizontal wellsLand re-unionOrphaned wellsPipelinesPollutionPoolingReclamation fund
Improved “Co-Tenancy” Bill Clears House Judiciary Committee
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 10, 2018
After yesterday's public hearing on the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268), the House Judiciary Committee took up and passed an improved version of the bill that, most importantly, addresses the problems we raised regarding surface use and the need to require surface owner's consent. If version of HB 4268 that came out of the House Judiciary Committee passes, if the driller uses the statute to get the right to drill into the mineral tract beneath a surface owners' land or into any neighboring mineral tract, the driller will have to get the agreement of the surface owner to locate the well pad on their surface. Requiring the surface owners consent is very important, and a significant improvement that makes it worth supporting the bill. Why? Read more here. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsLand re-unionLeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesOrphaned wellsPooling
Public Hearing on “Co-Tenancy” Friday, Feb. 9 at 8:30AM
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 6, 2018
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) Friday, February 9 at 8:30AM in the House Chamber. Read this post for more details and talking points about the bill. More
Issues: Horizontal wellsMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Advances Without Changes, Public Hearing Possible Wednesday
Updates and Alerts WVSORO February 4, 2018
Last week the House Energy Committee passed the "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) without any changes. HB 4268 is problematic in a number of ways which we've outlined in detail here, and we remain opposed to the bill unless these issues are addressed. The bill is now before the House Judiciary Committee. A public hearing has been requested and will possibly be held this Wednesday, February 7 although there has been no official announcement yet. In the meantime, please contact House Judiciary Committee members and voice your concerns about HB 4268.  More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringPipelinesPollutionPooling
“Co-Tenancy” Bill Being Considered by House Energy Committee
Updates and Alerts WVSORO January 27, 2018
A "co-tenancy" bill (HB 4268) is now being considered by the House Energy Committee. HB 4268 is problematic in a number of ways which we've outlined here. Please contact members of the House Energy Committee and voice your concerns about HB 4268. Urge them to prioritize other legislation before them that will help those most affect by drilling and natural gas infrastructure. More
Issues: Eminent domainFence-line monitoringHorizontal wellsPipelinesPooling
Legislative Update and Thank YOU; Fracking Guide and Webinar
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer April 8, 2017
Today is the last day of the 2017 legislative session. You've probably heard that the industry's re-branded forced pooling legislation (SB 576) was officially declared dead earlier in the week by the chair of the House Energy Committee. More
Issues: FrackingLand re-unionPooling
Public Hearing Monday on Forced Pooling Bill
Updates and Alerts Julie Archer April 1, 2017
The House Energy Committee will hold a public hearing on the forced pooling bill (SB 576) Monday, April 3 from 9AM to 10AM in the House Chamber. Read this post for more details and talking points about the bill. More
Issues: LeasingMinerals-RoyaltiesPooling
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