PA Landowners, Drillers Fight over HB 1391 Minimum Royalty Bill

Garth Everett

Rep. Garth Everett

It appears that legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, House Bill (HB) 1391 that would fix the issue of landowners getting shorted in royalty payments, is about to die. It’s not the first time a bill meant to ensure landowners get a minimum of 12.5% in royalties has died in the PA legislature. Bradford County Commissioners chairman Doug McLinko is blaming the Marcellus Shale Coalition and other drilling industry groups. And he’s not a happy camper. Last June MDN told you about a renewed effort by Pennsylvania State legislators to pass a minimum royalty bill that will guarantee PA’s landowners get at least 12.5% royalties (see New Bill HB 1391 Will Guarantee PA Landowners 12.5% Royalties). HB 1391 is was introduced by State Rep. Garth Everett, a Republican from Lycoming County, PA. Everett said in June the new bill was “narrowed” in focus from a previous bill (that had failed) and because the more narrowed focus, he hoped the Marcellus industry would not oppose it this time around. Everett was dead wrong. As we reported in June, the rift between landowners and drillers on the matter of minimum royalties continues (see Rift Continues Between Drillers & Landowners re Royalty Bill). Due to some hard work by Everett, the bill finally moved out of committee where it had been stalled, and on to the full House for a vote (see Progress: PA Minimum Royalty Bill Heads to Full House for Vote). But now the bill is stalled in the full House and it appears there will not be a vote by the end of the fall session, due to close in another two weeks…

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