Pennsylvania

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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.”

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