|A hearing will be held this morning at 9:30 a.m. at the WV Legislature in the main chamber of the House of Delegates regarding Gov. Joe Manchin's bill to revise royalty holder's rights in WV.|
"We need royalty owners, land company
managers and trustees to appear at this hearing and speak in opposition to
the legislation," said attorney Larry George with the WV Land and Mineral Owners Council, an unincorporated non-profit association that advances the interests of major land and mineral owners in the Mountain State.
"At this juncture, there is significant opposition among the rank and file members of the legislature, particularly Delegates, to taking up this legislation - both on the merits, but more so due to the short notice and complexity of the bill," said George.
The governor's bill is likely to pass in the Senate.
A growing number of opponents believe the bill is much too complicated to digest on such short notice.
"The bill is an ill advised and emotional reaction to the $404 million Tawney jury verdict, a case that is still pending before Judge Evans and has not yet been appealed to the Supreme. Legislative reaction is premature," said George.
Manchin's bill is retroactive and attempts to terminate the rights of royalty owners in other pending non-Tawney cases concerning post-production expenses.
Vernon "Dick" Goff, son-in-law of the late Garrison Tawney who initiated the royalty suit which ended in Chesapeake Energy's lap, will be interviewed this morning at 7:30 a.m. on WV Public Radio.