HARRISBURG - A consumer-friendly proposal that will help landowners with oil and natural gas leases in Pennsylvania has been introduced in the state House, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna).

"Currently, there is no formal method for a landowner to obtain a written record when a lease is terminated, canceled or expired," Pickett said. "As a result, many landowners are facing unnecessary delays in signing with a new oil or gas development company, because those entities require documentation that a previous lease has been canceled or terminated. This is posing a significant barrier to landowners who are simply wishing to continue to try and develop the natural resources under their property."

Under the proposal, House Bill 402, the documentation would describe a lease and its contents, and have it delivered no less than 30 days prior to the termination or cancellation of the lease. It would also establish a process to record the release document, and a process to address instances when a release is not given to a landowner.

The legislation would pertain to any oil and gas lease, regardless of whether it involves shallow or deep drilling.

Similar legislation exists in New York, Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The proposal is currently with the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee for consideration.

Submitted by Rep. Tina Pickett