Sustained Outrage

Marcellus reforms not on W.Va. Democrats’ agenda

Natural Gas, fracking

When West Virginia lawmakers more than two years ago approved Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s Horizontal Drilling Act, they included requirements for a wide variety of studies. Follow-up reports were to look at water pollution, impoundment safety, air pollution, noise and economic impact.

Well, those studies are in, and they’ve shown clearly that more is needed if West Virginians are to be protected as the Marcellus Shale boom continues in our state (see here, here, here, here and here). Most troubling has been the fact that Commerce Department officials continue to flaunt a legal requirement that they report publicly on the number of Marcellus workers who are actually from West Virginia, as opposed to out-of-state employees of drilling companies. If that weren’t enough, an interim meeting earlier this week highlighted the fact that some of the key research on potential water quality impacts of Marcellus waste disposal didn’t even study wastes from the Marcellus.

But if you’re looking for something to do while we wait for Gov. Tomblin’s State of the State address this evening, read through the House Democratic leadership’s agenda — here, here and here — and try to find where any of these pressing issues about the Marcellus boom are addressed.