Civil War: Bradford PA Escalates Fight with MSC re Royalty Bill

civil-warYesterday MDN reported that Wilmot Township, located in one of the most-drilled counties in Pennsylvania (Bradford County) has taken the unusual step of demanding that drillers (in particular Chesapeake Energy) stop flowing natural gas from drilled wells unless/until they start paying landowners a minimum 12.5% royalty for the gas produced (see Righteous Royalty Anger: PA Town Votes to Block Gas Production). In August MDN reported that at the county level in Bradford County, the same issue has turned personal and somewhat nasty–with Bradford County Commissioners chairman Doug McLinko (a big pro-gas guy) blaming the Marcellus Shale Coalition and its leader David Spigelmyer for blocking a vote on House Bill (HB) 1391 that would rectify the royalty issue (see PA Landowners, Drillers Fight over HB 1391 Minimum Royalty Bill). McLinko called Spigelmyer a “reverse Robin Hood” last month. The fight continues and now escalates. Today, McLinko and the other commissioners in Bradford are set to vote on hiring a public relations firm to produce several short videos so the county can use those videos in a state and national PR campaign. McLinko says the MSC’s lobbying against royalty reform has cost Bradford County “probably $100 million” and the new campaign aims to get HB 1391, or something like it, passed…

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