Broome County, NY Landowners Sue Energy Companies that Try to Extend Expired Leases with “Force Majeure” Clause

force majeureMany landowners in the Broome County, NY area who signed gas leases years ago are now receiving letters from the energy companies holding those leases that the landowner is “locked in” to the terms of the lease even though the original term has now expired. Why? The legal term is “force majeure,” which roughly means “due to circumstances beyond our control—the fact that New York State continues to prevent drilling—you have to stick with us for a while longer.” Because this involves contracts and interpretation of the terms of those contracts, it’s now in the hands of lawyers, or heading in that direction.

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