Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Corbett Defends New Gas Lease Pooling Law

Governor Tom Corbett says the new pooling law is not "illegal."

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Corbett says the new pooling law is not "illegal."

Governor Corbett is defending a bill he signed last week which gives drilling companies the ability to pool leases.

Some landowners have criticized the measure, saying it could undermine their ability to negotiate for better terms with gas companies.

The new law gives companies the power to combine leases for horizontal drilling, unless it’s explicitly prohibited in the contract.

The Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO-PA) says the measure could impact people with older contracts that don’t mention pooling or horizontal drilling.

Corbett acknowledged those concerns in a letter to the General Assembly last week.

He defended the measure at a press event today, noting it passed both chambers with overwhelming support.

“We did not see any see anything illegal about the bill at this point in time,” he said. “It’s the people speaking through their General Assembly.”

Corbett has said he would not sign legislation requiring “forced pooling” of people who haven’t signed a lease. The new law only applies to existing contracts.

“You can’t take that gas from underneath their land without having a contract,” Corbett said. ”This legislation does not do that.”

Comments

  • Jim Foster

    It is wrong and disingenuous for Gov. Corbett to say the new law does not allow forced pooling. Many thousands of Pennsylvanians signed leases that said nothing about forced pooling. The old rule was that the driller couldn’t force pool unless the lease said you could. The new law says drillers CAN force pool unless the contract explicitly says you can’t. That IS a HUGE change and the Governor is simply not being candid. He knows better. Look at the huge campaign contributions he got from gas producers and you know where the Governor stands on this issue.

  • Scott Brion

    It is pathetic that the General Assembly and Governor believe it appropriate to retroactively amend lease rights in favor of oil and gas companies. This is a horrible precedent and clearly one which was not sourced by people other than lobbyists for industry.

  • Victim of circumstances

    As an absentee owner of PA O&G rights, I am harmed by this bill. I own a share of a lease written in 1976 that fails to mention pooling at all. Recently, the leaseholder approached me to amend the lease, but having this law in force has removed any incentive for them to improve the lease terms because now they do not need my agreement. The part of the law that allows forced pooling on old leases is a complete sell out to the O&G companies.

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