The PA Independent Oil and Gas Association, representing conventional oil and gas drillers, applauded recent Congressional action to report out H.R. 3881 (Thompson-R-PA) which prohibits the U.S. Forest Service from creating new rules and regulations on drilling in the Allegheny National Forest.
This actions follows a successful effort in the PA General Assembly to kill updated DEP regulations on conventional drilling agreed to by Gov. Wolf in Senate Bill 279 (Hutchinson-R- Venango), which was signed into law Thursday as Act 52.
PIOGA and one of its predecessor organizations, the PA Oil & Gas Association, spearheaded the court cases that led to the rulings upholding the rights of private mineral owners in the ANF.
“Despite nearly a century of cooperation between the owners of private mineral rights and the federal government, extreme environmental groups repeatedly attempted to shut down energy production in the Allegheny National Forest,” Congressman Glenn Thompson said.
“The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act will make these affirmative court rulings law, protecting jobs in our communities while reaffirming the importance of private property rights,” said Thompson, a member of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.
“The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act will put to rest an issue that has created great uncertainty pertaining to private mineral rights in the Allegheny National Forest. I thank Rep. Thompson for his efforts in developing this bill to reaffirm that privately-held mineral rights will be protected. I look forward to working with him to advance this important legislation to the House floor,” stated House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT).The Allegheny National Forest covers more than 500,000 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania and is located in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties.
(Photo: Conventional oil and gas drilling in the Allegheny National Forest.)