Metzgar sponsors amendment to ensure royalty payments for gas drilling

State Rep. Carl Walker Metzgar (R-69) sponsored an amendment on March 28 that would extend protections to landowners who have signed leases for natural gas drilling on their property.

The amendment to H.B. 1684 - sponsored by State Rep. Garth Everett (R-84), with State Reps. Matthew Baker (R-68), Sandra Major (R-111) and Tina Pickett (R-110) as co-sponsors - seeks to ensure property owners are compensated with royalty payments by gas companies.

Existing state statutes mandate that landowners receive a minimum of a one-eighth royalty payment on their lease.

Some payments, however, have been eliminated through an increase in post-production assessment costs and other fees. Metzgar's amendment would ensure the minimum royalty is enforced and not affected by fees.

"In light of a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision, new legislation was required to further define the mechanism for determining minimum royalty payments," Metzgar said. "My amendment specifically ensured that the minimum as set by the General Assembly in 1979, is followed to the letter, rather than exploited by semantic legal loopholes."