‘Minimum Royalty’ Language was Part of Wolf’s Poisonous Budget

sugarIf you stick a cube of sugar in a batch of poison, the poison will still kill you, although it will taste better. Part of PA Gov. Tom Wolf’s poisonous budget that went down in flames last week (see PA Gov Wolf’s High Tax Budget Goes Down to Defeat – 9 Dems Against) included some sugar to make it taste better–something landowners have very much wanted for the past couple of years. Wolf included language in his poisonous budget bill found in House Bill (HB) 1391, a bill that guarantees landowners will receive a minimum 12.5% in royalty payments (see New Bill HB 1391 Will Guarantee PA Landowners 12.5% Royalties). Republican legislators from Marcellus drilling counties (like Bradford) have been pushing for such a bill to correct abuses by Chesapeake Energy in shorting landowners in royalty payments. Wolf’s budget was wrong on many levels and needed to be voted down. But the inclusion of HB1391’s language gives hope to Republicans that the royalty issue will be part of a final budget, whenever that happens, or that Wolf will be favorable to signing HB1391 when and if the legislature votes on it…

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