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New Ad: Cuccinelli Has Let Down Southwest Virginia

July 15, 2013

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s campaign is releasing a new ad featuring Shirley Keene, a landowner from Raven, VA, who is fighting against Ken Cuccinelli and out-of-state energy companies over royalties owed her for gas extracted from her property.  Recently, a federal judge said she was “shocked” by the help Attorney General Cuccinelli’s office was giving two out-of-state energy companies in their fight against Virginia landowners like Shirley Keene.  Cuccinelli even took more than $100,000 in donations to his gubernatorial campaign from the company he was helping.  The ad will begin running this week.

Transcript, “Trust”:

Shirley Keene: I was born and raised in Southwest Virginia, very fine people, good neighbors, a good place to live a good place to raise your family.

Since the energy companies has come in, they have been making millions from the gas that is coming from our property.

They are going to extract your gas and leave you with nothing. I haven’t seen one penny 

Ken Cuccinelli’s office was giving information to the energy companies to fight us.

Then Cuccinelli got $100,000 for his Governor’s campaign.

He has made it perfectly clear he cannot be trusted. When you help an energy company against the people that have elected you to office that is wrong, you have let your people down, you have let the community down and I do not trust him. 

 

Background

Shirley Keene And Her Siblings Had Been Working Since 1993 To Get Their Royalties, Without Success. In December 2009, the Bristol Herald-Courier reported: “Shirley Keene, of Raven, Va., and her siblings are regulars at Virginia Gas and Oil Board hearings, and have been more or less disgruntled with gas industry practices since 1993. By her calculation, CNX has 28 producing wells on her family’s two tracts of land – one 43 acres and the other 15 acres. Over the years, the Keene heirs have hired three attorneys to help them get their royalties out of escrow – so far, without success.” [Bristol Herald-Courier, 12/7/09]

Federal Judge “Expressed Shock” at Cuccinelli’s Office’s Involvement in Aiding Out Of State Gas Companies in Case Against Landowners.  In June 2013, the AP reported, “A federal judge has expressed shock that an assistant Virginia attorney general has been assisting two natural gas companies that are being sued by landowners who allege the companies bilked them out of natural gas royalties. U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent said in a filed court opinion that the relationship was revealed in emails provided to the court by the plaintiffs in the case against EQT Production Co. and CNX Gas Co., two Pittsburgh-area energy companies.” [AP, 6/6/13]

Editorial: Cuccinelli Office Role In Aiding Private Gas Companies “Shocking But Not Surprising” Give His “Cozy Relationship”.  In June 2013 the Roanoke Times editorial board stated, “Shocking, but not surprising, given Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s cozy relationship with the coal and gas companies. So far this year, Consol (CNX) has given Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial campaign $86,000, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.” [Roanoke Times Editorial, 6/10/13]

Cuccinelli Has Received More than $100,000 from Consol Energy for His Gubernatorial Campaign.  According to VPAP, Ken Cuccinelli for Governor has received $111,044 in 2012 and 2013. [VPAP, accessed 7/11/13]  

Cuccinelli was Fully Briefed on Gas Royalty Case.  In June 2013, the Roanoke Times reported, “Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was briefed on a lawsuit in which landowners were seeking payment for natural gas from two large energy companies, a case in which a federal judge sharply criticized an assistant attorney general’s help for the firms. The briefings, by senior members of Cuccinelli’s staff, came during a period in which the state had formally intervened in the case, seeking to defend provisions of the Virginia Gas and Oil Act, spokesman Brian Gottstein said this week.” [Roanoke Times,6/15/13]