A judge says the attorney general’s office has been aiding and abetting Big Coal in its fight not to pay landowners for the gas it has taken from them.
A federal judge last week said she was shocked an assistant state attorney general is aiding big coal in a court battle against property owners in Virginia’s coalfields who are seeking to be paid for the gas the companies have taken.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Pamela Meade Sargent found that Assistant Attorney General Sharon Pigeon, who advises the Virginia Gas and Oil Board, was assisting the defense. Sargent wrote: “Shockingly, these emails show that the Board, or at least Pigeon, has been actively involved in assisting EQT and CNX with the defense of these cases, including offering advice on and providing information for use on the Motions before the court.”
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.