House Bill 2688, Providing for the unitization of interests in drilling units in connection with all horizontal oil or gas wells, passed the House of Delegates today by a vote of 60-40. Delegate Jeff Eldridge (D-Lincoln) issued the following statement against the legislation.
I took the oath of office to uphold the West Virginia Constitution. Article III of our state’s Constitution states: All men are, by nature, equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity, namely: The enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and of pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
This legislation allows for forced pooling of natural gas and legalizes the ability for a private company to essentially take the property of West Virginia residents by eminent domain. I will continue to fight for the rights of our state’s residents and protect the rights guaranteed to West Virginians by our state’s constitution.
House Bill 2688 passed the House of Delegates today and will now be sent to the West Virginia Senate for consideration.