Senate Bills 138 & 139 first bills approved by the Environmental Committee during the 2017-18 Legislative Session
Audio (SB 138): Listen
Audio (SB 139): Listen
HARRISBURG – Two bills protecting natural gas leaseholders across the state were unanimously approved today by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, according to Senator Gene Yaw (R-23).
Senator Yaw, who sponsored both legislative measures, said unanimous Committee approval of the bills was a clear sign that fair and proper treatment of landowners leased with natural gas drilling companies must remain paramount.
“These bills will give landowners more weapons to use in their arguments with the gas drilling companies that pay their royalties,” Yaw said. “We’ve tried to provide them with the tools that they can use to determine the accuracy of their royalty reports. These tools come with no additional costs or negative impacts to Pennsylvania taxpayers.”
As approved today, Senate Bill 138 would allow a royalty interest owner the opportunity to inspect records of a gas company to verify proper payment. In addition, the legislation requires that proceeds from production of oil and gas shall be paid within 90 days of production to ensure monthly royalty payments, unless otherwise stated in the lease.
Further, Senate Bill 139 would prohibit a gas company from retaliating against a royalty interest owner by terminating the lease agreement or ceasing development because a landowner questions the accuracy of the royalty payments.
During the 2016-17 legislative session, both measures were approved by the full Senate, but failed to meet further committee action in the House of Representatives.
Yaw is optimistic that both bills will be signed into law this session.
Senate Bills 138 and 139 now move to the full Senate for consideration.
For more information, visit Sen. Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com, on Facebook www.facebook.com/gene.yaw.3, or on Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.
Adam Pankake, Executive Director