An update on what could be a very important case for many landowners in Pennsylvania: On Tuesday, April 3, the PA Supreme Court agreed to hear a Susquehanna County case called Butler v Powers estate. The case concerns whether or not natural gas rights are a part of “mineral rights” in old leases where it’s not specifically spelled out. PA law precedent since 1882 known as the “Dunham rule” is that natural gas is not part of mineral rights unless specifically stated as such. If the Supreme Court overturns that precedent, it would threaten hundreds of drilling leases now in place throughout PA.
U.S. District Judge David N. Hurd ordered that a lease dispute case between a group of landowners in Broome and Tioga counties (New York) and Chesapeake Energy will go to arbitration for about 150 of the landowners. That’s not-so-good news for those landowners who want to keep the case in federal court. But he also ruled a second case with 32 landowners can go forward in federal court because those leases did not contain an arbitration clause. That’s good news for those landowners, and may end up being good news for those in arbitration. A copy of the judge’s order is embedded below.
Although it’s preferable to ignore (in an effort to retain one’s sanity) the lie machine that purports to warn us of the environmental holocaust hydraulic fracturing will bring, sometimes we have to respond to the truly egregious whoppers that are spun by the far, far kooky left. Like Daily Kos/Bill Maher kooky. One such organization is the innocent sounding PRWatch, a website of the equally innocent sounding Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). The CMD and PRWatch are somewhere left of Vladimir Putin and Fidel Castro, just to provide perspective.
PRWatch published a whopper yesterday that attempts to tie fracking to breast cancer. Just for good measure, the article also says fracking causes spontaneous abortions and birth defects, and is even responsible for crime against women. Who knew?
Range Resources just gave Washington County, PA a check for $918,000 as a signing bonus which grants them the right to drill horizontally underneath the fairgrounds and health center in Arden. Range is also going to build a 3 1/2 mile rail trail in Cross Creek County Park for walkers, joggers and bikers:
The “best of the rest” – stories that caught MDN’s eye that you may be interested in reading: