February 27, 2009
Bill of Rights Introduced in the Senate; Senator, Delegate Give Identical Speeches in Support of the Oil & Gas Industry
This week we finished getting sponsors for the Surface Owners’ Bill of Rights, and the bill was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday. SB 374 is sponsored by Senators Larry Edgell (D-Wetzel), Randy White (D-Webster) and Jeff Kessler (D-Marshall). It was triple referenced and sent to the Energy, Industry & Mining Committee, followed by Judiciary and then to Finance. You can read about the bill’s introduction in the Senate here. We have 11 sponsors on the House side (the maximum), and expect that bill to be out next week.
The day SB 374 was introduced, Senator Walt Helmick (D-Pocahontas) and Delegate Brent Boggs (D-Braxton) gave identical floor speeches in support of the oil & gas industry. Click here to listen
On Thursday, Senator Edgell turned in the first batch of petitions in support of the Surface Owners' Bill of Rights with signatures from Doddridge, Ritchie, and Harrison counties. We intend to submit petitions throughout the session, to focus attention on and demonstrate support for our issue, so keep collecting signatures and sending them in. The petition is available here, or you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy.
Also on Thursday, WV SORO founder Dave McMahon went head-to-head with Corky DeMarco, Executive Director of the WV Oil & Natural Gas Association (WVONGA) on Talkline. Host Hoppy Kercheval was gracious enough to provide us with audio from the show and we’ll make it available at the website for those who weren’t able to tune in.
Please keep up your calls and emails to your legislators. It does make a difference and gives us more credibility in their eyes. Ask them to support the Surface Owners’ Bill of Rights. We also welcome and encourage you to come down and meet face-to-face with your legislators at any time. We will be happy to coach you on what to say, and introduce you to your legislators. This is an effective way to get legislators’ attention. The oil and gas industry has several lobbyists, so any voters take the time to share their stories with their legislators it drives home why the law needs changed to get us the rights and protections we deserve.
Finally, don’t forget WV SORO Day at the Legislature is March 17.