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New Legislation Will Protect Private Mineral Rights Holders

by Elizabeth Alford on August 24, 2015

Congressman Glenn Thompson held a press conference Friday to introduce new legislation that will protect the rights of private mineral rights holders in national forests.

The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act will seek to regulate the relationship between the U.S. Forest Service and private subsurface mineral-rights owners. Federal courts has already acknowledged that that the agency lacks regulatory authority over privately held mineral rights and this legislation corrects existing law.

Since 2009, environmental groups had blocked drilling efforts on approximately 12,000 wells operating in Pennsylvania’s only national forest. Though the surface rights of the forest belong to the federal government, more than 93 percent of the mineral rights on almost 517,000 acres are privately owned.

Learn more: Surface Rights vs. Mineral Rights in Oil & Gas Leases

Thompson told the Thomasville Herald that, “Federal courts have ruled that the U.S. Forest Service lacks regulatory authority over privately held mineral rights. This legislation corrects existing law and is consistent with the findings of the courts, which ruled against new federal regulations and further attempts to shut down activity in the Allegheny National Forest.”

Learn more about protecting your mineral rights at the Mineral Rights Forum


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