By CONNOR GRIFFITH
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Despite some successes most of the bills introduced to address the issue of unplugged oil and natural gas wells across West Virginia did not cross the finish line during the state’s 2019 legislative session.
One such bill appeared poised to pass in both houses but fell through during the last night of the session. This was Senate Bill 665 which was sponsored by Sen. Randy Smith, R-Tucker, with the goal of allowing expedited permitting on natural gas wells in exchange for a higher fee. If passed, the extra money would’ve been used to hire more Division of Environmental Protection staff to speed up the process and go to plug abandoned wells.
“This is something near and dear to my heart,” Smith said regarding the issue.
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