Senate Panel Examines Complaints of Underpaid Gas Royalties

  • National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) President David Sikes testifying before a senate committee on gas royalty payments. Photo: Marie Cusick/StateImpact Pennsylvania

July 6, 2013
By Marie Cusick

A Pennsylvania Senate hearing about gas royalty payments began with a mention of mushrooms.  Joel Rotz is the senior director of state government affairs for the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. He pointed out the state’s prominence as a top mushroom producer.

“Why do I bring that up?” he asked rhetorically, “Most of you know how you grow mushrooms. Keep them in the dark. Feed them a little manure, and they grow. We’ve got landowners out there right now who are feeling a little like mushrooms.”

As StateImpact Pennsylvania recently reported, some landowners in the state’s most drilled on place—Bradford County—are alleging they’re being cheated out of royalty payments by one of the biggest gas companies in the nation.

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