Corbett OKs bill strengthening drillers' rights
July 11, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Gov. Tom Corbett has signed
legislation that critics say was fast-tracked and undermines some landowners'
negotiating rights when dealing with drilling companies.
Corbett signed the
bill Tuesday. In a letter to lawmakers, he says it's his intention to enhance
the efficiency of drilling for oil and gas while protecting the rights of
landowners and leaseholders. Industry group the Marcellus Shale Coalition supports
the new law.
However, a landowners
group, the National Association of Royalty Owners, says many lawmakers didn't
understand the bill's last-minute changes.
The legislation means
people with drilling leases signed decades ago for traditional, shallow
vertical wells could be forced to allow deep Marcellus Shale natural gas wells
that include underground horizontal bores extending out thousands of feet, even
under neighbors' properties.