Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sen. Yaw Asks Attorney General To Investigate Chesapeake Energy Royalty Practices

The Rocket-Courier in Wyalusing reported Thursday Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming), Majority Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, has sent a formal request to Attorney General Kathleen Kane asking for an official inquiry into post-production cost deductions by natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy.
“Over the past several months, my office has received numerous complaints from landowners frustrated over the business practices of Chesapeake Energy,” Sen. Yaw said.  “Their primary complaint involves the deduction of what are believed to be excessive post-production costs.  I feel that the Attorney General is the appropriate third party entity to officially review these claims from a consumer protection aspect.”
On June 27, 2013, Sen. Yaw convened a public hearing of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on royalty issues.
“During our hearing, the Committee heard testimony that deductions by Chesapeake were as high as 100 percent of some royalty checks.  This raises a significant consumer protection issue for hundreds of constituents in my Senate district,” said Sen. Yaw.
In light of the ongoing issues between Chesapeake Energy and Bradford County leaseholders, Sen. Yaw has also introduced a package of legislation, known as the Oil and Gas Lease Protection Package to safeguard leaseholder rights.
The bills include: Senate Bill 1236 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) amends the Oil and Gas Lease Act further providing for payment of royalties, Senate Bill 1237 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) establishing the Natural Gas Lease Anti-Retaliation Act to protect royalty interest owners and Senate Bill 1238 (Yaw-R-Lycoming) establishing the Oil and Gas Lease Satisfaction Act providing for certain forms and damages.  Sponsor summary of all three bills.
“I believe my legislation will dovetail nicely with the legislation-- House Bill 1684 (Everett-R-Lycoming)-- already introduced in the House of Representatives,” Sen. Yaw said. “Over these past several months, I have said consistently that I would support the House legislation when it passes that Chamber and moves to the Senate. I am not only reiterating my support for House Bill 1684, but I am also putting forward my own legislation that would support the interests of landowners already leased with natural gas companies.”

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