Well am wondering what others thought of the 2 hr meeting today in Harrisburg?? In the end it sounded to me like it was going no where again, but hope I am wrong.
maybe now that John is out, this bill can get moving........................
Ensuring all PA landowners get a fair Royalty and a full 12% would be good for every Citizen in the State.
What's going on now is bad for almost every Citizen in the State and will result in new taxes to pay for the infrastructure problem while the money flows to corporations in another state.
We need more common sense in state governments. Lets all sign up as Representatives, as it should be.
Wimot is moving on this. It is in the national news today.
Residents in one of the most drilled-on parts of Pennsylvania want to block companies from producing natural gas, citing anger over royalty payments.
The supervisors in Wilmot Township, Bradford County plan to pass a resolution Tuesday demanding, “production be discontinued from wells where landowners are having their royalty checks diminished to nothing or nearly nothing.” Wilmot supervisor Mark Dietz is particularly worried about some residents’ threats to engage in violence or possibly tamper with gas infrastructure to disrupt production.
“People are getting really angry,” says Dietz.
The rural township is about 50 miles northwest of Scranton and is home to about 70 producing gas wells, according to state records.
A 1979 state law requires oil and gas companies to give mineral owners at least a 12.5 percent royalty. Depending on the language of a lease contract, drillers and landowners may share post-production costs. These are expenses incurred when gas is transported to market through pipelines. For years people have complained some companies charge exorbitant, and possibly fraudulent, post-production costs, which leave landowners with little to no royalty money.
Deitz says Wilmot Township is having problems with both the companies operating there: Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy and Dallas, Texas-based Chief Oil and Gas. Neither company would comment on the resolution. Chesapeake referred questions to the Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry trade group.
“A lease is a contract between a mineral owner and an energy producer,” says coalition spokeswoman Erica Clayton Wright. “Any disputes that may arise between these two parties over the terms of the contact have and will always be most effectively resolved by the courts.”
The resolution is aimed at getting the attention of state legislators, rather than having the legal force to halt production, says Deitz. But the township is also considering seeking a court injunction to block the gas from being removed.
“It’s not that we’re against the gas companies. They’ve done a lot for our area,” says Deitz. “But we’ve got to stop the thievery. What’s the sense of letting them take a natural resource that can never be replaced for basically nothing?”
Over the years some members of the state House who represent the region have sought to address the royalty problems, but their bills were often met with opposition from the gas industry and Republican leaders have never allowed them to come up for a vote.
I don't understand what the state is missing here. There are allegations of racketeering and a simple paper trail that anyone with half a brain can follow straight up the line to Chesapeake. They clearly sold their pipelines for far beyond market value to a company that was yet another creation out of Chesapeake. Almost immediately royalty fall through the floor for everyone in Bradford Co. This is not imaginary book making. They are stealing and because the everyone has bent over and accepted it they continue to do it. They purposely violate contracts and simply tell people to sue them. They know Joe Schmoh farmer can't financially withstand years of litigation. It's looking to me that the state can not stop this out right thievery or they have just chosen to turn their back on the tax payers of the rural counties that don't make up enough voters to make the downstate radar.
I've spoken to county officials and representatives from other operators in Bradford and Susquehanna County. Everyone is aware of what is going on. The County reps seem to be at the mercy of the state. The other operators don't like the situation either because it makes doing business harder for them also. One person told me that the best thing for folks stuck with CHK would be for them to go belly up. Kudos to operators who have held a higher standard of doing business. Here's to hoping they don't change their mind because it seems no one cares to stop this thievery.
I don't get why the state doesn't care. I know there are thousands of state lands receiving royalties and folks who are making money from these royalties must pay taxes for what is received. Seems like a lot of revenue being lost. Rant over.