Listen: here’s why some strike it rich in the gas patch and others strike out

  • Marie Cusick
  • Amy Sisk
A natural gas drilling site in Susquehanna County.

Marie Cusick/ StateImpact Pennsylvania

A natural gas drilling site in Susquehanna County.

The United States lets private individuals own the right to the minerals under their land. While that sets it apart from virtually every other country, it also opens the door to a host of disputes.

As StateImpact Pennsylvania recently reported, disparities in how mineral royalties are paid spans the Marcellus Shale, and it’s popping up in other oil- and gas-rich regions across the country. It stems from a complex web of laws, court rulings and legal jargon that determines how money is distributed to property owners who allow energy companies to tap the minerals below their land.

Reporters Amy Sisk and Marie Cusick appeared on WITF’s Smart Talk Tuesday to explain.

Listen here: