HARRISBURG – Legislation aimed at ensuring landowners are afforded a clear and distinct assessment of royalties paid to them through lease agreements with oil and natural gas operators heads to the governor’s desk, said prime sponsor Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23).
“Concerns have been expressed by land and mineral owners for some time now centered on the lack of transparency that can come with deductions from their royalty payments,” Yaw said. “In some cases, general deductions with little to no description are subtracted from landowner’s checks, leaving them with a fraction of what was promised.”
Senate Bill 806 was supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Landowner Alliance (POGLA), Bounty Minerals and others. The Senate concurred on the legislation today after the House of Representatives approved it 200-0.
“My legislation would not impact lease agreements, but it would require entities making payments to landowners to provide more description, clarity and uniformity on their royalty check statements, something I’ve heard a great deal about from leaseholders across our region,” Yaw said. “This proposal is designed to help ensure all parties feel their lease agreements are executed as intended, and it will help mitigate concerns that have developed in recent years.”
The legislation also provides for summary statements, should a landowner choose to receive one, as well as timely payment requirements, Yaw said.
“Pennsylvania Farm Bureau thanks Sen. Yaw for his diligent and persuasive advocacy on an issue of longstanding importance to our members,” said Rick Ebert, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau President. “Senate Bill 806 would provide much-needed clarity and certainty to Pennsylvania farmers about the royalties paid to them through lease agreements with oil and natural gas operators. We also thank the other stakeholders for their critical work throughout this process.”
“The Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Landowner Alliance thanks Senator Yaw for sponsoring SB 806, which will provide check stub consistency and transparency for royalty owners,” said Robert Sher, POGLA president. “The Senator persistently sought input from all interested parties and advocated on behalf of the bill. Our organization is grateful for his efforts. “
“Senator Yaw has always been a tireless proponent for his constituents and all of the land and mineral owners of the Commonwealth,” said Bounty Minerals Director of Business Development Valerie M. Antonette. “Bounty Minerals was proud to partner with him to get SB 806 over the finish line after an eight-year campaign to bring more transparency to royalty statements. Ultimately, it was a cooperative effort between all stakeholders working together.”
SB 806 now awaits the governor’s approval.