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Feb. 29, 2013: Morrisey and Lin; gas drilling

Get Legislature to act on gas well drilling

Editor:

Pending amendments to the state Department of Environmental Protection rules governing horizontal gas well development as mandated by 2011's Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act are before the Legislature.

Some of these rules set requirements for gas well setback distances from dwellings, private water sources like springs and water wells and certain domestic animal buildings. These setback distances are pitiful. A well bore drilled in the center of a 300-foot wide pad puts the private water source just 100 feet off the edge of the pad or about the length of an NBA basketball court. Since the rule requires a setback measured from the center of the pad for a dwelling, a 300-foot wide pad puts the dwelling just 475 feet off the edge of the pad. Babe Ruth is credited with hitting a 470-foot homerun. And as the pad grows wider in both of these cases, the water source and dwelling move closer to the edge of the pad.

If a property has a horizontal gas well on it, a potential buyer will be particularly concerned how far a dwelling or a private water source is from the edges of a gas well pad, open pit, pipeline, access roads, compressor stations and gas plant. That buyer will also be concerned about the number of gas well sites within a given area, traffic, dust, road conditions, light and health impacts.

Acceptable setback distances by such a buyer will be determined by this buyer's own set of parameters and not any laws or regulations set forth by the Legislature or the DEP. Therefore, a property-value study as it relates to gas well sites and their related activities would set a benchmark as to what potential buyers are willing to accept in setback distances in order for them to purchase a property.

The risk to our property values becomes even greater as drilling proliferates and particularly if natural gas is exported, requiring more and more gas wells.

If you are concerned about your property values and quality of life, now is the time to contact legislative representatives and ask them to support a property-value study as it relates to horizontal drilling.

Letty Butcher

Independence

 

Morrisey hiring Lin smells of fraud

Editor:

It's apparent to me that Patrick Morrisey qualifies as a single-term attorney general.

In years past, he would be referred to as a carpetbagger.

His arrogance to hire a lawyer 90 days after elected who is not eligible to practice law in the state is offensive to me. And then make him the highest paid employee in the office. Nothing against Mr. Lin, but it smells of fraud to receive pay for a job that you knowingly cannot provide the service for or meet the minimum qualifications for the position.

Mr. Morrisey also hired Dan Greear, an individual who West Virginia failed to elect.

Attorneys are not equal, but if it weren't for the state of West Virginia, many would be unemployed.

Why would anyone resign from a highly successful law practice in Washington, D.C., and take a sizeable pay cut, move to West Virginia to become second fiddle to a newly elected official?

How long after he was elected did Mr. Morrisey offer Mr. Lin the job?

Why has it taken him over 90 days to submit an application for the exam?

Why as taxpayers are we paying Mr. Lin for a job he is not qualified for.

J.M. Tyree

Scott Depot

 

Lin salary article slanted, unfair

Editor:

The front-page treatment (Morrisey defends Lin's $132K salary," Feb. 16) of attorney and recent West Virginia Attorney General hire Elbert Lin is backwards and discourteous. Rather than welcoming Mr. Lin, the article makes hay out of the fact that he is drawing a salary before his admission to the bar.

This is much ado about nothing. The state licensing process is as much about collecting fees as it is about vetting applicants. Mr. Lin can still contribute, with certain limits, his talents to benefit the citizens of West Virginia in the meantime. The article implicates Mr. Lin's qualifications to draw a low, six-figure salary, which is absurd. Mr. Lin graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for a U.S. Supreme Court justice. His résumé easily commands a salary twice what he earns as a state employee.

Given his pedigree, Mr. Lin's decision to move to West Virginia and work for its citizens should be celebrated. Instead, the article makes his hiring appear scandalous.

Our state has to be willing to welcome talented individuals and families to West Virginia to ensure our state's prosperity. This article is a sad reminder as to how far we have to go.

Christian M. Capece

Charleston


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