PA Bill Would Restore Dormant Mineral Rights to Surface Owners

The issue of returning mineral rights to surface owners has long been an issue we’ve tracked on MDN–for Ohio. In Ohio, the issue revolves around legislation called the Dormant Minerals Act (DMA). In September 2016, the OH Supreme Court ruled in three DMA cases, saying all of the other cases come under those three (see Important: OH Supreme Court Finally Rules on Dormant Mineral Act). The DMA in its various versions provides for mineral rights that had previously been separated from surface rights to transfer back to the surface owner under certain conditions. That same kind of legislation may be coming to Pennsylvania, under a bill about to be introduced by PA Rep. Garth Everett. Does that name sound familiar? It should. Earlier this year Everett introduced “minimum royalty” legislation that would guarantee PA landowners would get minimum royalty payments of 12.5%–regardless of any kind of post-production expenses (see PA Rep. Garth Everett Reintroduces Minimum Royalty Bill, 3rd Time). Everett, a champion for landowners, is now back with a bill that would transfer back mineral rights to the surface owner following 20 years of dormancy…

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