Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pa. Senate panel to take up oil and gas bills tomorrow

natural gas well drilling - AP

**UPDATE - SB147 was amended and released. SB148 and SB279 both released without changes**

The Pennsylvania State Senate's Resources and Energy Committee will consider the following three bills when it meets tomorrow, January 21, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 8E-A
in the Capitol’s East Wing:

SB147
 and SB 148 Sponsored by Republican Senator Gene Yaw. The first bill in this two-bill package allows natural gas royalty interest owners the opportunity to inspect records of the gas company to verify proper payment.  All information provided by the gas company will be confidential in nature and cannot be disclosed to any other person.  In addition, the bill requires that proceeds from production of oil and gas shall be paid within 60 days of production.

The second bill,SB 148, would prohibit a gas company from retaliating against a royalty interest owner by terminating the lease agreement or ceasing development because a landowner questions the accuracy of the royalty payments.

The sponsor says that the  package is meant to support leaseholders who seek more transparency and protection while engaging the gas industry on their lease agreements

SB279
 Sponsored by Republican Senator Scott E. Hutchinson, the bill would establish the Penn Grade Crude Development Advisory Council, which would "study existing regulations and assist the Department of Environmental Protection in making changes that better address the differences between conventional and unconventional oil and gas production."

The Council would include membership by the Department of Community and Economic Development and be charged with "promoting Pennsylvania’s historic conventional oil and gas industry and advocating its future development."

The Council will be a public/private partnership modeled after the successful Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council established in 1988.
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