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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Northeast Republican Delegation Fights for Fair Oil and Gas Royalties

Members of the Northeast Republican Delegation met with Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his staff on Wednesday to discuss the status of a lawsuit involving the alleged deceptive royalty payment practices by two drilling companies operating in the state.
Members meet with attorney general to discuss lawsuit

HARRISBURG – In the continuing fight on behalf of thousands of land owners in their districts, members of the Northeast Republican Delegation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives met with state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and his staff on Wednesday to discuss the status of a lawsuit involving the alleged deceptive royalty payment practices by two drilling companies. The delegation requested the meeting to emphasize the plight of their constituents with complaints against the companies.

The lawsuit was filed in December 2015 in the Bradford County Court of Common Pleas by then Attorney General Kathleen Kane against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Shapiro told the group that oral arguments on preliminary objections are scheduled to take place on July 20. If the cases are successful, Shapiro said the defendants will be required to make restitution to those who have suffered losses, pay civil penalties of $1,000 for each violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and pay $3,000 for each violation involving a person 60 years and older, as well as permanently refrain from any action that violates the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.

The delegation’s chairman, Rep. Karen Boback (Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), presented the attorney general with a letter signed by delegation members and written on behalf of their constituents who have been affected by the case.

“These land owners in our districts are desperate for help,” said Boback. “They have filled town hall meetings seeking solutions from the officials elected to protect their interests. Members of the delegation look forward to working with the attorney general’s office to help the victims of these ongoing and questionable business practices.”

During the meeting, Shapiro encouraged any citizen with royalty-related concerns to file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection in his office at www.attorneygeneral.gov.

In addition to Boback, members of the delegation include Reps. Matt Baker (Bradford/Tioga/Potter), Rosemary Brown (Monroe/Pike), Garth Everett (Lycoming/Union), Jonathan Fritz (Susquehanna/Wayne), Aaron Kaufer (Luzerne), David Millard (Columbia), Mike Peifer (Pike/Wayne), Tina Pickett (Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna), Jack Rader (Monroe), Tarah Toohil (Luzerne) and Jeff Wheeland (Lycoming).

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