Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Morgantown City Council Calls For Drilling Regulations, But Holds Off On Moratorium

Last evening the Morgantown City Council met and took up two resolutions involving the state’s oil and natural gas industry. The first resolution was to ask the Governor to call a special session to pass Marcellus/horizontal drilling regulations. The second was to call for a moratorium on drilling of Marcellus wells until legislation is passed to regulate the same. Several people from the industry, including the executive director of the W.Va. Oil & Natural Gas Association, spoke against a moratorium. There were a couple of residents from the city who spoke for a moratorium, as well as two students, a retired USGS employee, a former engineer from Consol Energy and a member of the Sierra Club. Council members debated the matter and offered amendments before finally adopting a resolution that was silent on the issue of a moratorium. The resolution calls for the city to join legislators, the city of Beckley, the Dominion Post and the Beckley Register-Herald in asking the Governor to call a special session to pass legislation.