Woman removed from West Virginia hearing after speaking out against fossil fuel-sponsored legislation


A woman was cut off and removed from a hearing last week in the West Virginia House of Delegates as she spoke out against a piece of fossil fuel-sponsored legislation.

During her testimony, Lissa Lucas spoke about her opposition to a bill which makes it so that only 75 percent of landowners must approve for oil and gas companies to drill on private land, according to the Huffington Post.

Currently, 100 percent of landowners need to give approval.

In her testimony, Lucas, a Democratic candidate for West Virginia’s seventh district, listed donations that state lawmakers have received from oil and gas companies.

Lucas was told during her testimony that she should not be making “personal comments” regarding people who are on the House Judiciary Committee.

“The people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry,” Lucas said.

“The people who are going to be voting on this bill are often also paid by the industry,” she added.

“I have to keep this short because the public only gets a minute and 45 seconds while lobbyists can throw a gala at the Marriott with whiskey and wine and talk for hours to the delegates,” she added.

Her microphone was cut off during her testimony and when she requested time to finish her speech, she was not given it, according to the Huffington Post.

She then told lawmakers to “drag me off.”

On her personal blog, Lucas wrote that as she tried to give her remarks in defense of “our constitutional property rights,” she got “dragged out of House chambers.”

“Allow me to point out that if Delegates genuinely think that my talking about who their campaign donors are ― and how much they’re receiving from corporate lobbyists/corporate PACs ― is an ad hominem attack… then they should be refusing those donations,” she wrote.

She wrote that lawmakers should refuse any donation that, “if someone mentions it, makes you feel personally attacked.”

“Because that’s not an attack. That’s guilt. And you SHOULD be feeling that. Let that guilt about who you’re really working for inform your votes; don’t let the corporate money do it.”

The committee passed the bill, which will now have to receive a vote by the House and state Senate.