The state Division of Personnel could administer inspectors' tests without the board, Boggs said. The state spends $6,800 a year to run the board.
"It's an added layer of bureaucracy that doesn't add anything to the process," Boggs said.
Corky DeMarco of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association said after the meeting that the industry is neutral on the issue.
The amendment discussed Thursday also would let the state change the amount of experience that inspectors need in the industry, which is six years.
Inspectors for other fields, such as mining, don't need six years of industry experience, Boggs said.
But Radabaugh said on-the-job experience is valuable because "books only tell you so much."
Experience on drilling rigs is what truly teaches people, he said.
If the state changes the qualifications, "I'm afraid you're going end up with a whole different breed of inspector than what we have right now," he said.
Radabaugh also urged legislators to raise inspector pay.
There's been a lot of focus on hiring more inspectors to deal with the Marcellus boom, but "there's no need hiring new inspectors if you're not going take care of the ones you've got," he said.
State inspectors earn about $35,000 a year but can make twice that working on rigs.
Lawmakers are in Charleston this week for a special session on redistricting and for regularly scheduled monthly interim meetings. The Marcellus committee might not meet again until next month.
Reach Alison Knezevich at alis...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.