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New WV House speaker’s ties to gas highlight legislative ethics loopholes

Editor’s Note: This article was produced in partnership with the ProPublica Local Reporting Network.


Charleston Gazette-Mail

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw makes a point during a Judiciary Committee meeting in 2017, when he was the lead sponsor of legislation rolling back chemical tank safety regulations for the natural gas industry.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Kenny Kemp)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Toward the end of this year’s legislative session, a little-noticed bill was moving through the West Virginia House of Delegates to limit legal challenges that had slowed new natural-gas-fired power plants in the state.

Delegate Roger Hanshaw, a Republican lawyer from Clay County who was serving as vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee, took to the floor to explain the legislation.

“This bill is a little ‘Inside Baseball’ to practitioners of environmental law in West Virginia,” said Hanshaw, a supporter of the bill.

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