West Virginia Mineral Owners Coalition

by Elizabeth Alford on January 11, 2017

The West Virginia Mineral Owners Coalition is mobilizing forces to protect landowner rights.

Related: Clarity Needed for West Virginia Royalties

The 2017 legislative session in West Virginia is under way and being closely watched by mineral rights owners in the state. At the beginning of the month, the West Virginia Mineral Owners Coalition gathered its members to strategize how they would protect their rights.

“We are trying to keep the industries in this state from stealing our property rights,” said Wayne Johnson, a mineral owner in Ritchie County. “Taking from our statutorily protected royalty payments is theft.”

The coalition exists to mobilize and support property owners and they plan to lobby legislators in 2017 to maintain and continue those protections they won in 2016. Two West Virginia Supreme Court cases upheld mineral and landowner rights:

  • Mountain Valley Pipeline vs. McCurdy: the Supreme Court supported a lower court’s decision that pipeline companies cannot trespass onto your land, without your permission, to survey for interstate projects that have not yet been granted eminent domain.
  • Leggett vs. EQT Production Company: the court held that the state’s minimum royalty payment of 12.5 percent must be paid without the deduction of post-production costs. This decision upheld statutory protections put in place to protect the interests of mineral owners who have leased their minerals. EQT has asked the court to rehear their case on this issue.

For more information check out the Coalition’s Facebook page or contact Elise Keaton at 304-207-1150 or email wvmineralowners@gmail.com.

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