New Bill Pushes 12.5% Guaranteed Minimum Royalty for PA Landowners

One of the big disappointments last year, for landowners, was the failure to pass House Bill (HB) 1684 which would clear up language from the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979. The GMRA of 1979 says landowners are supposed to get 12.5% minimum in royalties. Chesapeake (perhaps other drillers too) found loopholes and drove a truck through them, claiming marketing and pipeline transportation expenses that they deducted from royalties–leaving some landowners with checks for (literally) a few dollars (see Bradford County, PA Landowners Sue Chesapeake over Royalties). HB 1684 would have cleared up the language and ensured landowners get 12.5% as a minimum–but the bill was met with opposition from the drilling industry (see Rare Schism Between Landowners & Drillers over PA Royalty Law). The bill ultimately failed to get to the floor for a vote. But 2015 is a new year, and PA State Rep. Garth Everett, with the backing of the PA National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO), will introduce a brand new bill next week that is largely a reconstituted HB 1684. So far 35 members have signed on as co-sponsors. Everett and NARO are planning a “bill launch party” in the Capitol Rotunda for next Tuesday, June 23 at 1:30 pm. They want every single landowner who can to show up as a sign of support…

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