'Forced Pooling' Gains Traction in House

Gas companies are pushing hard for Eminent Domain

Times Tribune

Landowners without gas leases could be compelled to allow companies to drill in the Marcellus Shale beneath their land under a procedure outlined in legislation proposed by two members of the state House of Representatives.

The “Conservation Pooling Act,” sponsored by state representatives Marc Gergely, D-35, Allegheny County, and Garth Everett, R-84, Lycoming County, which has not yet been introduced, would establish how gas companies form orderly units of land for developing the gas from the shale – a priority issue for the growing Marcellus Shale industry in the state.

According to a draft of the legislation circulated by lawmakers who have been asked to co-sponsor it, the act would create a state office to oversee pooling as well as a procedure for compensating holdout landowners while keeping them from blocking development of the gas from leased properties around them, a concept known as “forced pooling.”

The industry wants the state to develop what they prefer to call a “fair pooling” statute because they say it allows for the most efficient and complete extraction of the gas while minimizing the surface impacts that could come with an unnecessary proliferation of wells.

The bill requires an operator to have leases to drill on 75 percent of the land in a proposed unit before applying for a pooling order. Such a demand for a super majority means the bill is “not designed to allow (gas companies) just to force large parcels to do something that they do not want to do,” Mr. Everett said.

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2 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    what a crock of s***! so much for a free america, now they’ll take what’s beneath our land for corporate greed. when does it stop?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, wow. Over my dead body!

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