Speaking Thursday at a gas industry trade group conference in Pittsburgh, Governor Corbett said he has yet to see any “intentional violations” by drillers.
“Have there been violations? Yeah. And that’s when we have to take action,” Corbett said. “If it happens again, the action gets a little harder. If it happens again, it’s gonna get a lot harder. And eventually that permit—that’s always at risk. That’s the leverage to make sure everybody does what they’re supposed to do.”
Corbett was speaking before a crowd at the Marcellus Shale Coalition’s annual Shale Insight conference. He was among the keynote speakers following a luncheon sponsored by Chesapeake Energy. The Oklahoma-based company is one of Pennsylvania’s largest operators.
His remarks are a change in tone from statements he made earlier this year about Chesapeake Energy. In February, Corbett asked state Attorney General Kathleen Kane to investigate complaints of fraud against the company, calling its business practices “unfair and perhaps illegal.”
Chesapeake has been widely accused of cheating landowners out of gas royalty money. Some people who have leased their land to the company for drilling allege they’re being shortchanged because Chesapeake withholds large amounts of money from royalty checks–charging them for the fees associated with processing and transporting gas.