Dec 13, 2011- Marcellus Shale Bill Passes the Senate

By: Michael Hyland
By: Michael Hyland

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed its version of the Marcellus Shale drilling bill Tuesday.

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed its version of the Marcellus Shale drilling bill Tuesday, leaving the House of Delegates to act.

The House Judiciary committee planned to meet a couple times Tuesday before a full floor session this afternoon.

The Senate made changes to the bill, including ones dealing with prior notification of well development.

The House heard from about 70 people for and against certain provisions of the bill during a public hearing Monday.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - New rules for Marcellus shale drilling have made it halfway through West Virginia's Legislature.

The Senate passed the bill Tuesday to the House of Delegates, 33-0 with one member absent.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin began the special legislative session on Sunday. The goal is a bill that regulates drilling and development in the Marcellus shale field. It's considered among the world's richest natural gas reserves.

The Senate and its Judiciary Committee amended several provisions. Some aim to improve the prior notification of well development. Others exempt certain wells from at least some proposed regulations.

The House Judiciary Committee expects to take up the bill Tuesday. A Monday public hearing drew dozens of speakers. Environmental and surface owner groups say it lacks protections. Industry representatives also presented concerns, but urged support.

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