Pennsylvania Representative Garth Everett (R-Lycoming/Union) says he will continue his work on getting minimum gas royalty payments to landowners after the Pennsylvania House of Representatives did not vote on House Bill 1391.
Everett issued the following statement on Friday, October 28th, “I am very disappointed this bill did not receive a full vote in the House, and I know many of my colleagues are as well… I have heard from so many leaseholders who are being short-changed on their royalties, and it simply isn’t fair or right. I will continue to fight on their behalf until this issue is resolved.”
Landowners in Bradford County say they have not been receiving the gas royalty payments they are owed. On September 27th, approximately 150 people attended a rally in Harrisburg to show their support of House Bill 1391. Both landowners and state representatives displayed tremendous support for the bill at the rally.
House Bill 1391 would ensure that the minimum gas royalty payments described in a 1979 law are paid to landowners. The Pennsylvania Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979 states that mineral owners should get a minimum royalty of 12.5%. A decision by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2010 permitted drillers to take post-production costs from the royalty payments.
Everett explained more about the Pennsylvania Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979 in the following statement, “Pennsylvania enacted a minimum royalty law in 1979 that simply says that the minimum royalty in Pennsylvania for gas and oil shall be one-eighth. Post-production costs did not exist in the industry at that time, so the statute did not specifically address that issue or how exactly to calculate a royalty payment… A 2010 Pennsylvania Supreme Court case states that the General Assembly is the proper branch of government to determine public policy regarding royalty valuation. Since that court decision, I and my colleagues have been seeking to clear up this issue and ensure that our landowners get paid at least the minimum they were guaranteed when they signed their leases.”
The following Pennsylvania representatives are supporting Everett in his efforts to get House Bill 1391 passed: Matthew Baker (R-Bradford/Potter/Tioga); Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming); and Sandra Major (R-Susquehanna/Wayne). Everett said House Bill 1391 will be reintroduced during the new session that begins in January.