Lissa Lucas of Cairo, West Virginia traveled the nearly 100 miles from her home to the state capitol in Charleston so that she could testify against HB 4268, an oil and gas industry sponsored bill that would allow drilling on land without owner consent.
She began her testimony to the House Judiciary Committee with the statement, “the people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry, and the people who are going to be voting on this bill are often also paid by the industry.”
She went on to call out the fact that citizens get less than two minutes to address the committee, but lobbyists “can throw a gala at the Marriott with whiskey and wine and talk for hours to the delegates.” A reference to the Whiskey, Wine and Policy Winter Legislative Reception at the Charleston Marriott Hotel that was sponsored by the Shale Energy Alliance.
Lucas continued her testimony by listing oil and gas donations that were made to the the House Judiciary Committee members, including the chairman, John Shott.
“John Shott. First Energy $2,000. Appalachian Power $2,000. Steptoe & Johnson—that’s a gas and oil law firm—$2,000. Consol Energy $1,000. EQT $1,000. And I could go on.”
However, she wasn’t allowed to go on.
Chairman Shott interrupted her testimony saying, “Miss Lucas, we ask that no personal comments be made.” He went on to tell her that she wasn’t allowed to make comments regarding individual committee members and must stick to addressing the bill itself.
Yet, she persisted.
“About 40 percent of his money comes from the oil and natural gas industry,” Lucas said, in reference to Jason Harshbarger her opponent for the Ritchie County delegate seat in the upcoming election.
Shott then ordered security guards to remove Lissa Lucas from the room to which she replied, “I want to finish.” When the security guards approached, she told them they would have to drag her out, and they did.
Lucas wasn’t deterred though, she continued delivering her message all the way out the door.
Watch Lucas by clicking on the video below:
Read more about the WV Hearing, “Woman Dragged Out of West Virginia House Hearing For Listing Oil and Gas Contributions to Members” written by Russell Mokhiber at Common Dreams posted on February 12, 2018.