Saturday, March 12, 2011


Today is the last day of the West Virginia legislature's regular session, and there is still dealing to be done on the Marcellus drilling bill.

The House of Delegates has passed its own version of SB424--a version that is not to industry's liking. The different versions will have to be reconciled in a conference committee, and then, if the House and Senate conferees can agree on wording, both houses will again have to pass the bill.

The director of the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association revealed how much control the industry actually has in the legislature when he told an Associated Press reporter that the industry can't "make a deal" with the House version. In other words, industry is able to kill a bill it won't accept.

Your "democracy" at work.

As the saying goes, the fat possums will be stalking the capitol tonight. It will be interesting to see what news tomorrow brings. At this late writing, things don't look hopeful for something good. But at least we know there are principled people in the House trying to do the right thing and look out for the public's welfare.

--Michael Hasty

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