Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Woman dragged out of legislative hearing after listing off oil and gas contributions to fossil fuel-friendly lawmakers

“As I tried to give my remarks at the public hearing this morning on HB 4268 in defense of our constitutional property rights, I got dragged out of House chambers."

Image Credit: The Hill

A woman from West Virginia, who plans to run for a state House seat in her district, traveled over 100 miles to testify against an oil and gas industry sponsored bill (HB 4268).

Lissa Lucas, who’s campaign goal is to break the hold of the fossil fuel industry on West Virginia politics, attended the public hearings on House Bill 4268, which would allow for the the drilling on properties with multiple owners without every owner’s consent. As long as 75 percent of the owners enter into a lease, the oil and gas industry are good to go.

Lucas began her testimony stating, “the people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry, “And the people who are going to be voting on this bill are often also paid by the industry.” During her testimony, Lucas began to read off a list of corporate donors that have given to the legislators moving the legislation – which included several fossil fuel companies dominant in West Virginia.

Shortly after beginning Republican Delegate John Scott, who was overseeing the hearing, interrupted Lucas and asked that “no personal comments be made.”

“This is not personal comments,” she replied.

Scott pressed, “It is a personal comment and I’m gonna call you out of order if you talk about individuals on the committee. So if you would just address the bill. If not, I’ll ask you to please step down.”

Lucas continued to read her list of donors, to which the committee replied by cutting off her microphone and calling security:

Lucas is running for the House of Delegates from Ritchie County, which has been heavily impacted by the fracking industry. During the short time she had to speak, Lucas pointed out that Delegate Jason Harshbarger, who she will be running against, works for Dominion Energy.

“About 40 percent of his money (campaign contributions) comes from the oil and natural gas industry,” Lucas said.

After the incident, Lucas stated, “As I tried to give my remarks at the public hearing this morning on HB 4268 in defense of our constitutional property rights, I got dragged out of House chambers. Why? Because I was listing out who has been donating to Delegates on the Judiciary Committee.”


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