WV SORO Update Archive

March 13, 2009

Calls Needed to House Leadership; WV SORO Day Next Tuesday ~ Please Join Us

The Surface Owners’ Bill of Rights (HB 3023) was finally introduced this week in the House.  As expected, it was assigned to Energy, Industry & Labor/Economic Development & Small Business (EIL/EDSB), then JudiciaryHouse Speaker Rick Thompson (D-Wayne) has set a deadline of next week for bills to be passed out of minor committees. We have been working to get HB 3023 on the EIL/EDSB agenda, but EIL Chair Larry Barker (D-Boone) has gotten cold feet about taking up the bill, unless he gets the OK from House leadership.  While there is no merit to the industry arguments that a surface owners’ bill will inhibit economic growth, slow down drilling and interfere with royalty owners making money (see our updated "Myths & Facts About the Surface Owners' Bill of Rights"), apparently, some members of the leadership are saying that with the current troubles facing the industry it is not politically expedient to pass any bill the industry doesn’t like.

Please call Chairman Barker and Speaker Thompson over the weekend. Tell them the citizens for West Virginia deserve more than the same tired excuses and that the Surface Owners’ Bill of Rights should get a fair hearing. 

Speaker Richard Thompson – (304) 523-5658
Delegate Larry Barker – (304) 369-3367

We requested a public hearing on Tuesday, March 17 to coincide with WV SORO Day at the Legislature.  This is seeming increasingly unlikely give the sudden reluctance to take up the bill; however, we should know by Monday whether our request will be granted. Either way, we hope you will join us that day at the Capitol and encourage your legislators to support surface owners’ rights.  We’ll gather in the Governor’s Press Conference Room (located in the Secretary of State’s Office, Room 157-K) at 9AM for refreshments and a short legislative briefing before heading out to speak with legislators. We’ll meet back at the Press Conference Room for a media event at 2PM.

Our lobby team will be available throughout the day to direct and guide you to the right places. (If you arrive after 10AM please call Norm (304) 881-8664 or Julie (304) 610-9094 to meet up.) We recommend you contact your legislators in advance to schedule an appointment for that day. Please reply to this e-mail to let us know if you plan to attend. 

Whether or not you’re able to join us next Tuesday, please contact EIL/EDSB members and urge their support of the HB 3023, the Surface Owners’ Bill of RightsMost importantly, call the Speaker and Chairman to help ensure that the bill is taken up. 

Energy Industry & Labor/Small Business & Economic Development Committee Members:

BOLD = Sponsor

Delegate Larry Barker (D-Boone) - Chair EIL - (304) 340-3149, barker100@verizon.net
Delegate Stan Shaver (D-Preston) - Vice-Chair EIL - (304) 340-3146, sshaver@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Steve Kominar (D-Mingo) - Chair EDSB - (304) 340-3186, kominar@verizon.net
Delegate Kevin Craig (D-Cabell) - Vice-Chair EDSB - (304) 340-3350, kcraig1@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Kelli Sobonya (R-Cabell) - Minority Chair EIL - (304) 340-3175, ksobonya@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Carol Miller (R-Cabell). - Minority Vice-Chair EIL - (304) 340-3176, carolmil@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Craig Blair (R-Berkeley) - Minority Chair EDSB - (304) 340-3122, craig@delegatecraigblair.com
Delegate Troy Andes (R-Putnam) - Minority Vice-Chair EDSB - (304) 340-3121, tandes@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Bonnie Brown (D-Kanawha) - (304) 340-3106,  bbrown1@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Greg Butcher (D-Logan) - (304) 340-3113, gbutcher@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Mike Caputo (D-Marion) - (304) 340-3249,  caputo@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Barbara Fleischauer (D-Monongalia) - (304) 340-3169, barbaraf@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Nancy Guthrie (D-Kanawha) - (304) 340-3156, nguthrie@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Orphy Klempa (D-Ohio) - (304) 340-3378, oklempa@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Virginia Mahan (D-Raleigh) - (304) 340-3102, vmahan@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Mike Manypenny (D-Taylor) – (304) 340-3139,  mmany@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Charlene Marshall (D-Monongalia) - (304) 340-3900, chmarsh@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Dale Martin (D-Putnam) - (304) 340-3134, dmartin1@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Brady Paxton (D-Putnam) - (304) 340-3337, bpaxton@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Doug Skaff (D-Kanawha) - (304) 340-3362, dskaff@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate David Walker (D-Calhoun) - (304) 340-3135, dwalker@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Bill Hamilton (R-Upshur) - (304) 340-3167, bhamilt@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Pat McGeehan (R-Hancock) - (304) 340-3120, mcgeehan@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate Patty Schoen (R-Putnam) - (304) 340-3141, pschoen@mail.wvnet.edu
Delegate John Shott (R-Mercer) - (304) 340-3179, jhshott@mail.wvnet.edu

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