WV: "Tomblin Weakened Executive Order on Marcellus Drilling"

"CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Tomblin administration weakened an executive order on the regulation of Marcellus Shale gas drilling just hours before the order was signed and publicly announced, according to records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Language in the order was rewritten to limit a new requirement for public notice for drilling permit applications and to reduce the oversight of oil and gas operations by registered engineers, the records show.

The changes are reflected in drafts of the executive order released in response to a Gazette FOIA request and a draft posted online by the industry group Energize West Virginia.

Details of why the changes were made are not fully available, in part because the governor's office has refused to make public its correspondence with industry lobbyists who were helping craft state drilling policies."

Ken Ward Jr. reports for the Charleston Gazette July 27, 2011.

Source: Charleston Gazette, 07/29/2011