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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pennsylvanians Begin to Experience the Realities of New Forced Pooling Law

From TribLive:
EQT Corp. has sued scores of landowners in Allegheny County for access to their properties under a recently enacted law that gives gas drilling companies the power to combine some neighboring parcels into drilling units without compensating owners. 
The 69 individuals and one golf course in Forward named in the lawsuit are accused of blocking the company from conducting surveys on their land to determine where to drill for shale gas. It appears to be the gas industry's first attempt at using the controversial law. 
“The fact that it's being used (to sue people) is disgusting,” said Robert J. Burnett, a Downtown attorney working with the National Association of Royalty Owners but not involved in the EQT case. The state “gave the drilling companies a weapon to beat down landowners,” he said. 
EQT spokeswoman Linda Robertson said the company had been negotiating in “good faith” in Forward and still does, though it doesn't have to.
In other words, EQT has given the landowners take it or leave it offers to amend their leases without a legal battle, and those landowners can still accept the ultimatum they've been given if they want to.  If not, the new law will force them to allow the company to do what they desire on their land without the landowners' consent.  It's something that some landowners in Ohio have already experienced, and now PA residents are being introduced to the concept too.

Read the rest of the article here. 

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