Five Delegates added to Select Committee on Marcellus Shale Regulation

by Duane Nichols on June 23, 2011

Speaker  of the House of Delegates Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, has appointed five members to serve on the Legislature’s Select Committee on Marcellus Shale. Thompson designated Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, as the chairman. Other members of the committee will include: Delegate Barbara Fleischauer, D-Monongalia; Delegate Tom Campbell, D-Greenbrier; Delegate Woody Ireland, R-Ritchie; and Delegate Bill Anderson, R-Wood.

“Both the House and Senate made significant progress on legislation earlier this year, but the issue proved too complex to finalize during a session that involved around 1,800 other pieces of legislation,” Thompson said. “I know the House has been very deliberative in working on guidelines for the relationship between oil and gas extractors and the owners of surface rights and mineral interests that protects the environment and ensures proper labor practices. This Select Committee will continue that effort in preparation for a special session.”

Manchin currently serves as co-chairman of the Joint Oversight Commission on State Water Resources and a member of the House Finance Committee. Acting Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, named five senators to the Select Committee on June 17.

The WV-DEP has issued 1,602 Marcellus permits, with 942 of those already completed. The remaining 660 have either not been drilled, are in process, or awaiting fracking to begin. The agency expects to approve another 400 permits this year.  The DEP says they are permitting at a greater capacity than the industry can drill.

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