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Co-tenancy bill moves quickly to West Virginia Senate floor


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The controversial “co-tenancy bill” quickly moved in and out of the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday evening.

House Bill 4268, which would allow drilling on land if the majority — or 75 percent — of owners gave consent, passed the committee with a voice vote and moves to the Senate floor.

The only major scrutiny came from Sen. Mike Romano, D-Harrison, who introduced an amendment that would include a Pugh clause for horizontal drilling on minority owners’ land.
A Pugh clause is normally used in negotiation and added to a lease to limit the lessee from holding only parts of the land to develop later.

“What’s clear is if we pass this the people … are stuck,” he said. The amendment, he said, “will not change the substance of the bill whatsoever.”

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