Letter to the Editor, April 19, 2013
EDITOR: I have sent letters to the editor in the past. One was in reference to the destruction of local roads do to all the traffic by the gas companies when they first came to the area. Also, how companies wanted to expand units to do less surface damage by drilling more wells on one pad. As all can see the gas companies have done well by rebuilding our roads and the drilling of multi-wells on pads have slowed down due to gas prices. When Gasland the movie came out I did field study on safety measures by the gas companies, which I must say I was impressed on what I saw. But now it seems there is a different issue to be addressed.
It's about time someone has stepped up about these royalty deductions. I applaud our commissioners McLinko and Miller for their efforts on trying to resolve this problem of outrageous deductions that these gas companies have been taking. It is also good to see that Janet Root, head of the Pennsylvania Association of Royalty Owners, is also backing this issue.
Many landowners of Bradford County, Pa. and our commissioners accepted the gas companies with open arms. They have helped our economy by bringing much needed money and jobs to our area. They have made numerous donations to the area that have been gracefully accepted. The outsiders that have also come with the industry have been very respectable to landowners and residents.
How that ruling of the Kilmer vs. Elexco Land Service Inc. case ever was even pasted is up for debate. Most all gas leases state that there will be a Guaranteed Minimum of 12 ½ percent paid to the lease holder. Guaranteed, a promise or assurance. When that is written in a contract who thought that could be broken. Contracts in the past were just a good stiff handshake and someone's word. Well see how far that went. We need Judge Judy to look into this one, she stands by how contracts are written.
Senator Yaw seems to be in favor of all the benefits that our county has gone through since this gas boom has come to our portion of the state. He has expressed concern about the commissioners tinkering with existing leases. Well haven't the leases already been compromised? What happen to the guaranteed minimum? It's not just the minimum that is being compromised in leases today. It is also leases that state against transportation and compressing fees that are also being deducted. I have talked to many landowners who have leases with gas companies. There are times I talk to some who are not happy with the lease that they have signed but they unwilling abide by it, because they have a contract set in front of them. These leases were brought to us by the gas companies. We did not go to them, therefore you would think they would abide by what they have written. I feel that the commissioners decision in persuading what they are trying to accomplished in concerns of all landowners is justified. Good to see taxpayers money at work.