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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

PA Lawsuit Against Chesapeake Not Enough for Cheated Landowners

From StateImpact Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania landowners who say they’ve been cheated out of royalty money by gas driller Chesapeake Energy are pleased with a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Katheleen Kane’s office, but still seek more legal protections. 
Oklahoma-based Chesapeake has been accused of underpaying royalty money in Pennsylvania and in several other states. Earlier this month Kane’s office filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of deceptive marketing practices. 
“The lawsuit was the best news,” says Jackie Root, head of the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners. “We thought there might be more companies other than Chesapeake, but if [the lawsuit] is successful, then hopefully the other companies will snap into line as well.” 
Although much of the focus has centered on Chesapeake, Root says she gets complaints about the royalty payment practices of other drillers as well. Her group has been pushing for new legislation to clarify Pennsylvania’s 1979 law, known as the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act. It requires oil and gas drillers to pay a minimum 12.5 percent royalty.
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