Rally For PA House Bill 1684
TOWANDA---(WENY) Pennsylvania landowners braved the cold temperatures to fight for their royalties from gas drilling companies.
The Bradford County Board of Commissioners held a rally outside the Bradford County Courthouse to push legislators to pass House Bill 1684.
The bill is meant to protect landowners who have signed royalty agreements with gas drilling companies, but now receive less than their guaranteed minimum of 12-1/2 %.
Landowner Donald Mochrie says, "We're missing out on almost $5,000.00 worth of royalties."
That's a hefty sum he says could have gone towards medication for his fiancee, who is battling Lyme Disease.
Mochrie goes on to say, "I have seen where Chesapeake has kept our royalties for two months, we didn't receive us and that really hurt us a lot."
If passed, House Bill 1684 will strengthen the language in Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act passed back in 1979 which set the statutory minimum for royalty pay-outs at 12-1/2%.
In recent months, some gas companies have gone well below that minimum by transferring post-product costs to the royalty owner. Some say these gas companies started taking out 35% of royalties, then as time went on, all of it was being taken out.
A landowner who spoke a the rally said, "When they got to 95%, I was really angry because there is nothing I can do. There's not a thing I can do."
Bradford County Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Daryl L. Miller said at the rally, "In 1979 the State Legislature created the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act for a reason. I canít believe the legislature's intent in this law is for people to recieve 5%, 2%, or in many cases, no percent."
House Bill 1684 is expected to go to the House for vote on March 11, 2014. To read Governor Tom Corbett's stance on the issue, visit: