Palumbo shouldn’t have sponsored drilling bill
Just when I felt the Legislature couldn’t get any more disappointing, along came Sen. Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, and his sponsorship of a bill that would block lawsuits by landowners against gas drillers that damage their homes. He wants to allow drillers and other companies to do work near your homes without paying the consequences if one of those firms would mess up your drinking water or perhaps cause a crack in your home.
First, I was shocked that Palumbo would vote for, much less sponsor, this legislation. I grew up in the Charleston area and admired the public service of the Palumbo family through the years. I wonder what his late father, also a senator, would think about this situation.
You see, Palumbo is a lawyer for these companies. It would seem the ethical thing to do would have been to recuse himself from voting on such legislation — not sponsoring the bill. I’m told there is no recusing oneself, but there are other ways to avoid a vote on an issue where you have a conflict.
He calls the suits “a nuisance.” I wonder if he would feel the same way if it were his home that suddenly had no potable drinking water because of a gas driller.