By KATE MISHKIN
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A controversial oil and gas bill now includes an amendment to put money toward the Public Employees Insurance Agency.
House Bill 4268, known as the co-tenancy bill, would allow natural gas and oil companies to drill with the majority, or 75 percent, of the land owners’ consent. Fifty percent of unknown owners’ interest on the minerals would now go toward a PEIA Stability Fund, instead of entirely to the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund, says an amendment introduced by Delegate Phil Isner, D-Randolph. The money will be kept in the Unknown and Unlocatable Interest Owners Fund before it’s transferred.
The amendment passed with 49 votes for, and 47 votes against it.
There’s no way to predict how much money will ultimately come from interest from owners who can’t be found, and the money won’t be freed up until 2023, said Delegate John Shott, R-Mercer, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, the last stop before the bill went to the House floor. He voted against the amendment.
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