Monday, November 21, 2011

Proposed Marcellus Bill To Be Reviewed By Governor's Office; Consensus Still Uncertain

A special study committee of the West Virginia Legislature has completed its drafting of proposed Marcellus regulatory legislation, and the committee's bill is now undergoing review by Governor Tomblin and his top aides. The study group spent the past several months crafting their regulatory provisions, which will impose higher drilling permit fees and more regulations on horizontal drilling and production. Provided is a link to the study group's final proposed bill - click to read.

Both state natural gas trade groups and horizontal producers have expressed concerns about the added costs and a number of the new regulations contained in the bill.

Governor Tomblin's Chief of Staff told the Associated Press last week that the administration will review the committee's recommendations. He noted, however, that the study group's bill needs work in order to reach added consensus.

"There are a handful of, some issues that we think we can work out," Chief of Staff Rob Alsop said. "There's no doubt that the committee made progress, but there are significant issues we want to work through."

Click to read the AP article.

Some lawmakers are calling on the Governor to take up the bill in a special session prior to the start of the 2012 regular legislative session, which starts January 11, 2012. The Governor has stated he will consider the legislation only after there is general agreement for its many provisions.