Sustained Outrage

UPDATED: Tomblin cancels Marcellus meeting

UPDATED: Just heard from Kurt Dettinger, general counsel for the governor’s office, and he informed me that they’ve called off tomorrow’s task force meeting, citing the inadequate public notice.

“It was determined that we needed to give more notice,” Dettinger said. The meeting will be rescheduled for early May, Dettinger said.

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It’s been more than two months since Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, acting as governor, created a “task force”  to encourage further development of the Marcellus Shale and to try to lure spin-off industries into West Virginia.

That group appears to be actually starting to get down to work, with a meeting scheduled for tomorrow at the Capitol … Interestingly, the meeting is being billed — and was filed with the Secretary of State’s office — as an “emergency meeting.”

That designation allowed the governor’s office to avoid the five-day-in-advance public notice requirement when the meeting hit the State Register on Friday.

But is this really an emergency meeting?

Under state law, such meetings may be held only when there is some facts or circumstances “requiring immediate official action,” and those “facts and circumstances” must be spelled out in the meeting notice.

In this instance, the task force says it is having an emergency meeting “to discuss organizational matters.”  There is no mention of a need for immediate government action …

The meetings is set for 2 p.m. in the Governor’s Cabinet and Conference Room.