After passing the Senate Saturday morning, House Bill 4268, or the “co-tenancy bill,” is headed to the governor’s desk.
The House of Delegates concurred with the Senate’s changes to the bill’s name on a 58-41 vote Monday morning. The new title is a longer explanation of the bill, including which state code is affected and what the bill would do.
The bill, considered the oil and gas industry’s biggest priority of the session, would allow natural gas and oil companies to drill on land with the consent of at least 75 percent of the owners. It includes an amendment, introduced in the House, to give 50 percent of unknown owners’ interest on the minerals to a Public Employees Insurance Agency stability fund.
The bill passed 23-11 in the Senate during a floor session Saturday morning.
Last week, Gov. Jim Justice encouraged senators to kill the bill and said he’d strongly consider vetoing if it got to his desk. He also mentioned a special session on the bill. The statement garnered criticism from lobbyists and lawmakers who have supported the bill, and Justice later moved back on that statement.