We broke a story last evening in the Gazette about two important changes the Tomblin administration made in their executive order on Marcellus Shale drilling just hours before they announced the order.
As we reported:
Language in the order was rewritten to limit a new requirement for public notice for drilling permit applications and to reduce the oversight of oil and gas operations by registered engineers, the records show.
The changes are reflected in drafts of the executive order released in response to a Gazette FOIA request and a draft posted online by the industry group Energize West Virginia.
If you’re interested in comparing drafts, the draft document discussed in the story is still available online from Energize West Virginia here and the final version is on the governor’s office website here.
What’s especially curious here is that we aren’t able to learn what role industry lobbyists might have had these changes — or exactly what other input those lobbyists offered. That’s because, as we reported previously, the Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin, acting as governor, is refusing to release any of his office’s correspondence with industry officials who were acting as “consultants” in the writing of this executive order.