LISSA LUCAS IS a Democrat running for a state House seat in West Virginia’s District 7. Part of her campaign’s goal is to challenge the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry on the state’s politics.
So in the second week of February, when the legislature held public hearings on House Bill 4268 — which would allow for the drilling on properties with multiple owners if 75 percent, rather than all, of the owners enter into a lease — Lucas came to voice her opposition to the legislation, believing it to undermine the rights of property owners.
And to the chagrin of the West Virginia House of Delegates, she came bearing receipts.
She stood on the floor and read off corporate donors to the legislators moving the legislation — going through the gamut of fossil fuel companies dominant in West Virginia, from Dominion to FirstEnergy.
Republican Delegate John Shott, who was overseeing the hearing, took offense at Lucas’s reading of publicly available campaign finance data, equating it to a personal attack.
“Miss Lucas, we ask no personal comments be made,” he told her over his microphone.
“This is not personal comments,” she replied.
“It is a personal comment and I’m gonna call you out of order if you talk about individuals on the committee. So if you would just address the bill. If not, I’ll ask you to please step down,” he said to her.
She continued to list off donors, her microphone was cut off, and legislative security was called to remove her from the chamber. Watch it below:
In an interview with The Intercept, Lucas explained that she traveled to the capitol from the northern part of the state the day before the hearing to make sure she could say her piece.
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