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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bill to Protect PA Landowners from Royalty Schemes Appears to be Dead For Now

From StateImpact Pennsylvania:
A bill aimed at addressing allegations natural gas drilling companies are cheating Pennsylvania landowners out of royalty money appears to be dead this legislative session. 
HB 1391 was introduced following years of complaints some drillers charge exorbitant fees for processing gas. In Pennsylvania’s northern tier, people have received notices their royalty account has a negative balance, saying they owe thousands of dollars to drillers. 
“I’m very disappointed for the landowners,” says the bill’s prime sponsor Garth Everett (R- Lycoming). “All we were asking for was a chance to get it to the floor.” 
The measure was scheduled for second consideration in the state House earlier this week, but did not come up for a vote. It reappeared again on Monday’s calendar, but House GOP spokesman Steve Miskin said Friday afternoon it’s been pulled from the schedule. 
“Everybody has been diligently trying to come up with a fair resolution. There’s not a single member who doesn’t understand why this bill was crafted,” says Miskin. “Clearly, we haven’t gotten to that point yet.” 
Every bill needs three public airings in both chambers. With HB 1391 off Monday’s schedule, the waning number of voting days in the House and Senate won’t allow enough time. There were rumors session days could be added to the calendar, but Miskin says he’s not aware of any discussions.
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