The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register | February 10, 2015
I drove a school bus in the Northern Panhandle for more than 20 years. I know this area - and my neighbors - very well.
This area has seen its fair share of struggle and strife, but that is changing in a monumental way with the development of our region's natural gas resources.
I'm a farmer and have allowed natural gas development on my land. It has been a life-changing experience and one that I believe should be made available to all who can take advantage of it.
Some in my area - by their decision not to lease their mineral rights for development - are prohibiting their neighbors from sharing in this opportunity. Not only does this affect those that want to participate in development, but it deprives the community the benefits that come from an expanded revenue base. I don't believe it's fair for a minority of people to impact the majority.
The legislature will consider a bill this session to expand West Virginia's pooling statute to include horizontal wells. Pooling is a means by which natural gas companies can develop parcels of mineral rights into a drilling unit while treating all those owners in the unit equitably.
I support this type of legislation and believe it will lead to shared energy development and greater prosperity for all - my neighbors, my community and the state of West Virginia.