WV SORO Legislative Update Archive

January 26, 2008

Surface Owners' Bill of Rights -- We Need You

After working diligently lining up sponsors for our Surface Owner’s Bill of Rights in both houses, we were briefly caught off guard Thursday when we heard the bill would be up for introduction in the House of Delegates on Friday without our full list of co-sponsors. Thanks to quick action from our lobby team and assistance from Majority Leader Joe DeLong, all our House sponsors were added when the bill was introduced on the floor. The Surface Owners' Bill of Rights has been introduced in the House as HB 4286 and was sent to the Committee on Industry & Labor/Economic Development & Small Business then on to Finance. Sponsors are Delegates Mike Burdiss, Bonnie Brown, Jeff Eldridge, Clif Moore, Nancy Guthrie, Danny Wells & Mary Poling. They deserve a big “thank you” from citizens for standing up for property owners' rights.
The Senate version should be out early next week.

Here's what's needed:

Educate your legislators.  Tell them what happened to you and what you think should be done to protect surface owners from industry abuses.  Tell them to support the Surface Owners' Bill of Rights. If your legislator serves on one of the committees where the bill was referred it's especially critical they hear from you.

Attend WV-SORO Day at the Legislature on February 6th. Legislators will only be impressed by a strong turnout. The oil & gas industry is powerful and well financed. We’ve heard they have signed on several extra lobbyists. This means they are taking our efforts seriously and we need to respond accordingly by being vocal and visible.  Our lobby team will be available to direct and guide you to the right places. We recommend you educate your legislators in advance to schedule an appointment for that day. Please contact us if you want help arranging your meeting, if you need a ride to Charleston or are willing to bring others from your area. If you have room for fellow travelers, we've already heard from folks in New Martinsville and Grafton who are interested in ride sharing.

Regional Town Hall Meetings

Despite efforts to pin down a date for a town hall meeting for the Boone, Lincoln, and Logan County areas, we have been unable to connect with the local community centers to confirm any dates and times.  We'll keep trying and keep you posted.  In the meantime, WV-SORO will be hold its next meeting January 31, 2008 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Heritage Park Community Center, 110 Church Street, Spencer.  Click here to read the coverage in the Times Record/Roane County Reporter.

West Virginia Surface Owners' Rights Organization
1500 Dixie Street, Charleston, West Virginia 25311