PA Mineral Owners Left Waiting on Minimum Royalty Guarantees

by Elizabeth Alford on October 6, 2016

Pennsylvania mineral owners suffer a setback as legislators delay a vote on legislation that would increase royalty payments.

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Last week, Pennsylvania House of representatives tabled House Bill 1391, designed to establish a guaranteed minimum royalty payment. The bill would prohibit the use of post-production costs to reduce royalty payments below the 12.5 percent required by the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979. It allows for mineral owners to file an action against the company for failure to pay the minimum royalty amount and allows for awards of up to three times the damages.

Over 250 Northern Tier residents rallied in Harrisburg to gain support for the bill. Other support included an open letter to House and Senate members urging them to pass the legislation from the Towanda township.

The letter refers to Towanda’s 1,200 residents as the forgotten, vanishing, working middle class. “We signed those leases believing your written words and the words of those representing you,” the letter states. “Now we are told those words didn’t really mean what they said.

Both chambers are on recess until October 17, creating a tight timetable for supporters to move the bill through during the 2015-16 legislative session which ends in November.

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