PA DCNR May Go After Drillers for River/Creek Royalties Prev Paid

Once again we ask the question: Is the state of Pennsylvania robbing landowners of royalties by claiming to “own” certain streams and rivers in the state? We’ve raised this issue a few times, the most recent in May (see PA DCNR Publishes Lease Agreements for Deals Under Rivers/Creeks). The state of PA says they own any creek or river and consequently the mineral rights beneath it if the creek or river is, or ever has been, used for commercial trade or travel. So if a river or big creek ever had a barge floating along it 150 years ago (yesteryear’s version of interstate highways) PA claims it now as theirs–and denies landowners who own the land on either side of it royalties and lease payments for the land under it. Now the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), headed up by the PennFuture Secretary of the DCNR Cindy Dunn, aims to collect. And just like the IRS, DCNR is “exploring” ways they can collect for gas already extracted and paid for. Will that come from the landowner’s pocket? Will the driller have to pay twice for the same gas? You see how things work in the PennFuture-controlled Wolf administration…

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