Recap of Skyview meeting cosponsored by the Morgantown LWV

On June 2 a meeting cosponsored by the Morgantown LWV was held at Skyview Elementary in Morgatown, WV.  Guests included Randy Huffman.  This is a recap of the presentations, conversations, ordinances and the resolutions.

Public Meeting on the Adverse Impacts of the Marcellus Natural Gas Activities:
Where Are We, Where Are We Going?

Meeting Agenda and Minutes — June 2, 2011 — 6:15 PM

Skyview Elementary School, Westover, WV

SPONSORS: WV/PA Monongahela Area Watersheds Compact (Barry Pallay & Duane Nichols) and the League of  Women Voters (Kitty Lozier, Phyllis Marshall, Janice Gunel, Jonathan Rosenbaum)

Continue reading Recap of Skyview meeting cosponsored by the Morgantown LWV

Appeal Judge Tucker’s ruling

August 23, 2011

Members of Morgantown City Council
City Hall
Morgantown, WV

Dear Members of City Council:

The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County would like you to Appeal the recent ruling by Judge Tucker against the Ban on Marcellus Shale Fracking in and around Morgantown.

In her ruling the Judge states that the environmental issues are being addressed by Governor Tomblin’s executive order of July 5. The DEP has now issued their emergency rules requested by the Governor regarding Marcellus drilling. They are not at all adequate to protect the City of Morgantown from the nearby Marcellus drilling. As you know, Northeast has said they want to drill six wells on the pad across from Morgantown. They have permits for two. The public notice procedure in the new rules calls for a notice of application for a permit “within the boundaries of any municipality”. Northeast’s wells are outside the boundaries. We would not have notice of an application for the next four wells. Even if the City did have notice, there is no mention of public comment, let alone public influence on any permitting decision.

The Select Legislative Committee which is charged with developing Marcellus regulations seems to be divided between proceeding this fall and waiting to let the full Legislature create and pass regulations in January. If they wait, there would probably be no regulations in effect until next July at the earliest.

Meanwhile, the DEP is giving out permits that will only be subject to the DEP rules. These rules do not protect surface owners, do not fund more inspectors for DEP, or control air emissions, or develop adequate bonding , or permit water withdrawals , or monitor stream levels, or create adequate distances from populations, homes, schools, hospitals and other sensitive places, or provide for the cumulative impact of multiple wells in a community including truck traffic, road destruction and noise pollution.

The League of Women Voters requests that City Council appeal the judgment handed down by Judge Susan Tucker on August 12, 2011, regarding the City’s right to pass an Ordinance banning fracking in and around Morgantown.

The State of West Virginia still does not have adequate regulations to protect Morgantown from the negative effects of Marcellus Shale drilling and fracking.

Sincerely,


The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County

Gubernatorial General Election October 4, 2011

doc iconGubernatorial General Election October 4, 2011.doc

WV Governor October 4, 2011 General Election

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF WEST VIRGINIA

VOTERS’ GUIDE

SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION OCTOBER 4, 2011 FOR THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR

Candidates

Bob Henry Baber, Mountain Party

Harry V. Bertram, American Third Position

Marla Dee Ingels, Independent

Bill Maloney, Republican Party

Earl Ray Tomblin, Democratic Party

This candidate information is brought to you by the League of Women Voters of Wood County as a public service. Candidate responses are printed exactly as received, including spelling, grammar and content. All candidates were given an opportunity to participate.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization which encourages informed participation in government. It does not support or oppose any political candidate or party.

For more information, visit the website at www.lwvwv.org.

The League thanks the Parkersburg News and Sentinel for encouraging voter participation by bringing this publication to the citizens of Wood County.

Candidate BOB HENRY BABER

County of Residence Gilmer

PARTY Mountain

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION As Mayor of Richwood, I secured $5,000,000 in infra-structure improvements-balanced the budget, implemented raises, and protected health care. I am: a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow, recipient of the “2007 National Wilderness Society Environmental Hero Award,” an award-winning Appalachian author, creator of the Yeager Airport “Adoption,” an accomplished grant writer ($20,000,000+), Professor and Entrepreneur . www.baber4 governor.com

QUESTION 1. What specific laws do you support to regulate horizontal drilling-fracturing to extract natural gas?

ANSWER Imposing a 1% fee per well; hiring of DEP inspectors; total disclosure of chemicals, tailings, water-takings from cradle-to-grave; protection of water/air quality; 2-mile limit when fracking near inhabited dwellings, religious & historical sites, parks, cemeteries and municipal water-intakes; noise and light abatement; strict bonding related to production, distribution, and transportation; protection of surface/mineral owner (only) rights; doubling severance taxes.

QUESTION 2. What funding sources would you use to pay the costs of improving our roads and bridges? ANSWER The fiscal responsibility to secure West Virginia for residents and visitors is a top priority. This means generating $400M (10% addition to state budget) from increased coal & gas severance taxes. These new funds will build the biggest “information super-highway” to the future, via broadband-internet access. Additionally, such funds will protect existing roadways, build new roads and repair bridges.

QUESTION 3. What is the state’s most critical education issue and what specific measures would you propose to address it?

ANSWER West Virginia has the lowest college-graduation rate in the nation. Expanded access to technical schools, community colleges and 4-year institutions with augmented scholarship programs for “Hidden Promise” 1st generation students and those who perform exemplary community service is critical. Coordination between primary-secondary- higher education is crucial-especially in areas of mathematics and English Composition. I favor small schools

QUESTION 4. What fiscal policies should the state implement to address long-term unfunded liabilities, such as pension and health benefits?

ANSWER I am a fiscal conservative. The so-called “rainy day” fund is not adequate to cover unfunded medical and retirement liabilities. Generate new income by saving, streamlining bureaucracy, rooting out waste and promoting small businesses and tourism; raise additional capital from severance taxes on non-renewable fossil fuels to create jobs to ensure that future generations can remain in WV.

QUESTION 5. What policies do you support to improve West Virginia’s health care system?

ANSWER I believe health care should be treated as a right, not a commodity. I support accessible clinics, proper nutrition and exercise classes, smoking-abatement initiatives, nutritionally-balanced school meals, and reduced prescription costs through collaborative purchasing. Illegal drug use is ravaging the state and we need to close prescription loopholes and sanction healthcare professionals who profit from abusing the system.

Candidate HARRY V. BERTRAM

County of Residence Monongalia

Party American Third Position

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION High School Graduate Buckeye South High Tiltonsville, Ohio 1979. U.S.Army 1980 Combat Operations. Occupation Locomotive Engineer. Web Site. Bertram2011.com

QUESTION 1. What specific laws do you support to regulate horizontal

drilling-fracturing to extract natural gas?

ANSWER We need inspectors and have bonds set per well to pay for any road damage caused by trucks.

QUESTION 2. What funding sources would you use to pay the costs of improving our roads and bridges? ANSWER Use part of the rainy day fund and make cuts in the state budget to provide the money.

QUESTION 3. What is the state’s most critical education issue and what specific measures would you propose to address it? ANSWER Keeping children in school and make sure they are taught the fundamentals in Math, Science, History, and English.

QUESTION 4. What fiscal policies should the state implement to address long-term unfunded liabilities, such as pension and health benefits? ANSWER The benefits and pensions will have to be re-negotiated or there will be no money for anyone. Leberal Democrats have promised too much over the years and now they can’t deliver.

QUESTION 5. What policies do you support to improve West Virginia’s health care system? ANSWER We need more jobs, which means more people paying taxes, which means more money for health care. To do this would require American First Policies to protect and rebuild West Virginia’s Manufacturing base, which we currently do not have. More companies would move into West Virginia if it were a more business – friendly place with less taxes and regulations.

CANDIDATE MARLA DEE INGELS

County of Residence Mason

Party Independent

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION BS Degree in Psychology & Masters in SpedEd from WVU. Masters in Counseling from MUGC. I’ve worked for the last 14 years in the public school system. I have had numerous trainings and experience at working with people and coming up with solutions to difficult problems. We need a leader who can guide our representatives to formulate win-win solutions. marlaingels.com

QUESTION 1. What specific laws do you support to regulate horizontal drilling-fracturing to extract natural gas? ANSWER The laws need to include pre-drilling testing of all water sources, land and air. Frequent tests of land, water and air during drilling and post-drilling. All chemicals used during drilling/fracturing need to be listed, plus amounts of the chemicals used. Safe disposal of waste products should also be addressed.

QUESTION 2. What funding sources would you use to pay the costs of improving our roads and bridges? ANSWER Funding should come from tax revenue not by tolling highway systems. Toll roads cause a great hardship on the people who live along them and it also affects trucking companies who use these roads. It also causes the cost of goods hauled along those roads to go up in price, so again we the people pay more.

QUESTION 3. What is the state’s most critical education issue and what specific measures would you propose to address it? ANSWER We need to put the curriculum back to a developmentally appropriate age. Students need to be more active during the day. All areas of study should be taught, but focus hard on reading and math during first and second grades. Change high school curriculum back to getting ready for work or college. Focus on strengths instead of exploiting weaknesses.

QUESTION 4. What fiscal policies should the state implement to address long-term unfunded liabilities, such as pension and health benefits? ANSWER First off we need to make it illegal to borrow from these plans in order to “bail-out” other failed plans. We need to stop allowing noncontributing parties access to these funds. We need to bring in businesses to provide jobs to guarantee more people available to contribute to these funds.

QUESTION 5. What policies do you support to improve West Virginia’s health care system?

ANSWER I would like to see a cap on the amount of money people can sue hospitals and doctors. This in turn should lower insurance costs making health care more affordable.

Candidate BILL MALONEY

County of Residence Monongalia

Party Republican

Candidate did not reply.

Candidate EARL RAY TOMBLIN

County of Residence Logan

Party Democratic

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION During my adult life I have worked as a schoolteacher, businessman and entrepreneur in addition to my duties as an elected official. Among my political experience, I was elected to the WV House of Delegates in 1974, ’76, and ’78; WV Senate: 1980-present; WV Senate Finance Chair 1987-1995; WV Senate President: 1995-present; Acting as Governor: 11/2010-present.

QUESTION 1. What specific laws do you support to regulate horizontal drilling-fracturing to extract natural gas? ANSWER I recently issued an executive order that will protect our environment and our citizens while providing the stability natural gas companies need to create jobs and develop our resources. This executive order serves as the first step in my long-term plan of responsible development of Marcellus Shale – providing emergency regulations concerning public notice, groundwater protection, and water withdrawal.

QUESTION 2. What funding sources would you use to pay the costs of improving our roads and bridges? ANSWER Fiscal discipline and responsibility led to a surplus in our road fund, so we’re undertaking West Virginia’s largest paving program in years. I will do all I can to complete major highway projects while still maintaining our secondary roads. I also pledge to make sure not a single dollar of federal highway money goes unmatched in W.Va.

QUESTION 3. What is the state’s most critical education issue and what specific measures would you propose to address it?

ANSWER We must improve the use of technology and reduce the dropout rate. Children need technologies available in classrooms to learn skills necessary to succeed in the next generation’s economy. We must improve our dropout rate, and I firmly believe we must devote additional time and resources to identify those children at risk of dropping out and keep them in school.

QUESTION 4. What fiscal policies should the state implement to address long-term unfunded liabilities, such as pension and health benefits? ANSWER When our Workers’ Comp fund, Teachers’ Retirement System and Public Employees Retirement System neared bankruptcy, and teachers’ PEIA insurance cards were rejected, I led initiatives placing W.Va. on a sound fiscal path. To continue responsible planning, we must work together to address OPEB liabilities and reach a consensus on a funding source, which I will make priority for my administration.

QUESTION 5. What policies do you support to improve West Virginia’s health care system? ANSWER My administration is currently working on improving access to health care. The State is helping 10,000 West Virginians receive access to primary care centers. This will enable our citizens to have better access to preventive care. We also can take advantage of telemedicine opportunities as we continue extending broadband Internet service into areas of W.Va. that are currently underserved.

# # #

Wood County Voter August 2011

doc iconAugust 11 voter.doc