Please Contact Our Representatives to Oppose Forced Pooling House Bill 2688 (HB 2688)

Dear Hancock County Land & Mineral Owners,

House Bill 2688 (HB 2688) hasn’t passed in the House or Senate yet.  It was just passed by the House Energy Committee yesterday so it will now go to the House floor for a vote, maybe as soon as next week. Then the Senate will vote on it.  So, there is still time for us to stop this bill!

Please contact our local representatives:

Pat McGeehan    (R - Hancock, 01)

Capitol Office: Room 226E, Building 1 State Capitol Complex Charleston, WV 25305 Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3397
Home: 616 Florida Avenue #5 Chester, WV, 26034 Home Phone: (304) 374-7018 Business Phone: (304) 374-7018

Mark Zatezalo    (R - Hancock, 01)

Capitol Office: Room 224E, Building 1 State Capitol Complex Charleston, WV 25305 Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3120
Home: 540 North 12th Street Weirton, WV, 26062 Home Phone: (304) 748-1624 Business Phone: (304) 491-0937

Ryan Ferns    (R - Ohio, 01)

Capitol Office: Room 439M, Building 1 State Capitol Complex Charleston, WV 25305 Capitol Phone: (304) 357-7918
Home: 37 Jenna Way Drive Wheeling, WV, 26003 Home Phone: Business Phone:

Here is a drafted letter that I urge you to send to each representative:

"As a land and mineral owner in                    County, WV, I am writing to inform you of my opposition to any legislation, more specifically HB 2688, that supports and advances the practice of seizure of private property in the form of 'unitization', 'lease integration', or 'forced pooling' of my privately held mineral rights.       

Legislation of this type is a violation of our constitutional rights regarding private property, and will strip landowners of their negotiation strength as well, should they be willing to lease their property."


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Replies to This Discussion

Todd, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I believe the information you posted helped. Without it we would not have known who or when to write and express our concerns. Thanks again, Joe.


I hope my posting helped some.  I must say that I am very pleasantly surprised that the forced pooling is dead for at least another year thanks to Hancock's own champion of private property rights, Pat McGeehan.  It was way too close to passing  - that's for sure.  Thank you Joe for contacting our state representatives as well.  We did make a difference.

Great news!



Delegate Pat McGeehan's column in Ohio Valley Shale Play entitled 'Forced Pooling’ Bad Idea Economically, Ethically:

Time to gear back up.  The Energy Committee met in Charleston today to discuss Forced Pooling.  The agenda appeared to only include supporters.

Almost every day we read about a new poll that says Americans have totally changed their opinion about an issue. Supposedly 1000 people were contacted and refute beliefs that most of us have lived by all our lives. I do not believe any new poll without a lot of proof. Latest studes prove that fracking is fine, but causes earthquakes and ruins ground water. The business fuels the economy, while workers are killed in needless accidents. Mineral owners are enjoying rich rewards, and are being cheated over royalties, contract wording, and production charges. If given the chance O&G will push through Forced Pooling. Because it benefits them. I can not prove Forced Pooling is bad for mineral owners. I can absolutely guaranteee every one of you that reads this, that you would probably not be happy with a deal your neighbor negotiated for your next new car. Or the location of the home and mortgage rate your mother in law signed you up for, because she knows you need a larger home. No one has the right to make decisions on your minerals, but you. You earned that right, by buying the property, and paying the taxes. We must not lose sight of that fact.

Forced Pooling Bill to be re-introduced in January:

The forced pooling is a good thing if done right, like why should someone with  4 acres be allowed to hold up the development of a  1280 unit if they are going to be paid for any G/O piped out and the surface will not be disturbed, the only thing they will lose is the signup lease money ..........

Every week there is another case of mineral owners being cheated by the O&G industry. Every excuse possible to short change mineral owners from the agreements they signed in good faith. What in the world would cause a person to believe that these O&G companies would give a fair share to mineral owners, that they can FORCE into an agreement? They are cheating owners every single day, but you think they will be fair when they have even more leverage? The O&G companies ( on their websites) have pictures of an oil well shown with the drilling underneath the pad. It shows that they are able to gradually guide the drill around a certain area. Like a landowner that does not settle. Let them go around the landowners and no one can complain. If it costs them thousands to go around, maybe they would rather pay that to the mineral owners to go straight through. Joe

Well stated Joe.  I agree with you.  Our mineral rights are our own private property to do with as we please.  Woody Ireland is the one that introduced the forced pooling bill and now he states that he's actually against forced pooling but wants a bill to enforce it?  What's interesting is that some WV Republicans are FOR forced pooling which is DIRECT governmental intervention.  It is my understanding that true Conservatives want as little government control as possible.  So, what's the difference in this case?  Answer: industry money.

Tom Brian:  

You appear to be new to GMS.  Do you work for the industry or are you a property owner?



Land owner in tioga co pa for last 50 years........ and leased to shell, on this gms at least 5 years. and say what i believe... 

retired last 15 yrs.

Thanks for your interest in Hancock County!  How on earth did you find us? :)


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