2 Royalty Bills Focus of PA Senate Hearing Today

PA Sen. Gene Yaw

Last week MDN brought you the news that several northeastern Pennsylvania counties are investigating an alliance to push for passage of a bill like last session’s House Bill (HB) 1391 to guarantee landowners receive a minimum 12.5% royalty regardless of post-production costs (see Northeastern PA Counties Explore Alliance to Pass Royalty Reform). However, landowners and those who support them in the PA legislature are not pinning all hopes on a guaranteed minimum royalty bill. Also proposed in the last session (2015/2016) were two bills meant to greatly assist landowners in their quest to monitor royalty payments and how they are calculated. In January 2015 (almost exactly two years ago) PA Senator Gene Yaw, who represents several counties in northeast PA, re-introduced Senate Bills (SB) 147 & 148 (see PA Senate Reintroduces Two Marcellus Royalty Bills, SB 147 & 148). “Re-introduced” in 2015 means both bills were introduced in the previous session (in 2013/2014). SB 147 would have allowed landowners the right to review drilling company records to verify proper royalty payment. It would also have required drillers to pay royalties within 90 days of production. SB 148 prohibits drillers from “retaliating” against a landowner who questions royalty payments by canceling the lease or stopping drilling activity. Both bills were embraced by the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO). They both passed the Senate and stalled in the House. Now, for the third time (going on the sixth year) Sen. Yaw has re-introduced both bills again. This time they are called SB 138 & 139 (full copies below). Sen. Yaw isn’t wasting any time–he’s holding a hearing today to discuss both bills. Will this time be successful?…

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