Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on Wednesday defended legislation he signed into law this week that critics say will undercut some landowners in lease negotiations with Marcellus shale gas drillers, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The new law, which was tacked onto legislation to clarify information on gas royalty payments, empowers oil and gas drillers to combine land into larger drilling units as long as a property owner's lease doesn't prohibit it.
It effectively forces people with existing contracts to allow their land to be pooled into larger drilling units without having full power to negotiate better deals in return, legal scholars and landowners advocates have said.
In a letter to lawmakers, Corbett said he believes the new law with the mandatory pooling provision enhances the efficiency of drilling for oil and gas while limiting environmental damage and protecting the rights of landowners and leaseholders.
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Chesapeake Energy Corp,the Oklahoma-based firm is the No. 1 driller in Ohio.
Rig Count Interactive Map by Baker Hughes, an energy services company.
Shale Sheet Fracking, a Youngstown Vindicator blog.
The Ohio Environmental Council, a statewide eco-group based in Columbus.
Earthjustice, a national eco-group.
People's Oil and Gas Collaborative-Ohio, a grass-roots group in Northeast Ohio.
Concerned Citizens of Medina County, a grass-roots group.
No Frack Ohio, a Columbus-based grass-roots group.
Fracking: Gas Drilling's Environmental Threat by ProPublica, an online journalism site.
Pipeline, blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Marcellus shale drilling.
Allegheny Front, environmental public radio for Western Pennsylvania.