She said gas companies already pay $1.2 million in state severance taxes over the life of each well.
"What is the rush?" Facemyer asked. "Why are we always assuming they - the oil and gas industry -- are the bad guys?"
State Sen. Orphy Klempa, D-Ohio, who supported the $10,000 fee, said he has fielded numerous calls from constituents who have trouble getting DEP inspectors to investigate complaints about gas drilling companies in the Northern Panhandle.
Klempa said West Virginia's severance taxes weren't hindering Marcellus shale development. Drilling has taken off as companies rush to tap the Marcellus reserves that underlie much of the state.
"This is not going to run the industry out of the Northern Panhandle," Klempa said. "The $10,000 and $5,000 fees will give people a sense of security that their health, environment and property are being protected."
The joint legislative committee plans to have a comprehensive bill that would regulate Marcellus shale drilling by the end of the year. That bill would have to go before the full Legislature for approval.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.