Manypenny Working to Fortify Marcellus Bill

by Dee Fulton on December 19, 2011

Delegate Mike Manypenny

Delegate Mike Manypenny (D – Taylor) is preparing to champion for surface owners rights and environmental/public health  protections in the upcoming January session of the WV Legislature.  Mannix Porterfield reported for the Herald tribune that Manypenny has developed 23 bills because he thinks the recently inked Marcellus bill didn’t do enough to safeguard the environment and protect rights of the landowners.

Manypenny  was one of five Delegates who voted against the Governor’s version of the Marcellus bill.  The draft bill created by the Select Committee of Senators and Delegates was intended to introduce law protective of surface owners and public health.  However, after being worked over by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and stripped of many of its protective provisions, it was transformed into, if not industry-friendly, very industry -acceptable bill before it was introduced to the Legislature.

COMMENT: It was telling of the level to which industry asserts its influence over our elected representatives that the eviscerated version of the bill breezed through the Senate and House with only few amendments restored before it became law.

To anyone who was not informed about the actual content of the bill,  who was not aware of the outrage and betrayal felt by the Select Committee members who worked so hard on the draft bill, and who was not aware of the criticisms heaped upon the bill members of  WVSOROS and the WV Sierra Club, the passage of a Marcellus bill probably sounded like a good thing.  My local newspaper contained all the celebratory quotes by the Governor complete with verbage such as “This landmark piece of legislation provides clear rules to the natural gas industry, protects our communities, surface owners and waterways while sending a clear message: West Virginia wants jobs and we will protect our rights and our environment.”  Some folks beg to differ, Guvnuh.

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