The Texas Attorney and West Virginia Judge

Many of the stories surrounding drilling and fracking over the past 20 years have been “Stranger than Fiction” and this latest story qualifies. It was first reported in THE DAILY BEAST four days ago, and saw a follow-up story in today’s THE INTELLIGENCER. WHEELING NEWS REGISTER.
WV gas production often takes place on leveled ridges and mountaintops

Let’s start with the July 15th story in The Daily Beast: “A Judge Pulled a Gun in the Courtroom—and Then It Got Weird

“During a trial in West Virginia earlier this year, witnesses tell The Daily Beast, a state court judge whipped out his handgun, waved it in the air, and left it on the bench with the barrel pointing directly at the corporate lawyers who had irritated him. As with many legal battles in West Virginia, it all started with fossil fuels.”

by Jose Pagliery, Political Investigations Reporter / The Daily Beast / July 15, 2022 Updated July 16, 2022

Today, the Wheeling, WV newspaper ran a similar story: “Judge Hummel Accused of Intimidating Oil and Gas Counsel

“Lauren Varnado, a Texas-based managing partner of the law firm Michelman & Robinson LLP, told The Intelligencer that Hummel had been openly hostile toward her team after they sought to have the judge disqualified from a case in Wetzel County involving oil and natural gas royalty payments. The case Hummel was appointed to oversee involved EQT Corp. and local residents over royalty payments.”

by Alan Olson / The Intelligencer. Wheeling News Register / July 19, 2022

Allegheny County Council vs. County Executive

This evening, a stand-off between Allegheny County, Pa council and county executive Rich Fitzgerald comes to a vote. Fitzgerald vetoed council’s bill to prohibit new gas leases in county parks, but council appears to have the super majority necessary to override his veto.

TRIB TOTAL MEDIA summarized the story: “Allegheny County, Pa. Council to attempt to override Fitzgerald vetoes

“Proponents of the bill believe that parks should be protected from any potential environmental harms caused by natural-gas drilling, aka fracking. Supporters of the ban might have enough votes to override Fitzgerald. The bill passed initially by an 11-4 vote, and 10 votes are necessary to override a veto.”

by Ryan Deto / TRIBLive / July 15, 2022
Rich Fitzgerald has attempted to defend the leasing of Deer Lakes Park for subsurface gas extraction, as well as defending some local gas producers, while in reality, we find dozens of violations in Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection records at the new gas well pad nearest to the park. Here’s a sampling of those violations, along with a record of that drilling waste being hauled into a neighboring county.
What are neighbors for, eh Rich?
From the Allegheny County, PA Council website:

Special Meeting of Council
Attend in person or Watch the meeting
Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Fourth Floor, Gold Room
Those that attend in-person will be provided 3 minutes to comment on any county-related matter. If you do not wish to attend in-person, you can still submit comments on the form, which will be sent to all Members of Council. Your comments will also be included in the official meeting minutes for that meeting. Sign-up to speak or submit comments.

Leave a Reply