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Friday, August 21, 2015

Thompson To Introduce Bill To Give Drillers Free Reign On Private Leases In US National Forests

Thompson to Introduce Bill Protecting Private Mineral Rights in Allegheny National Forest

Titusville, PA –Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-05) today announced plans to introduce the “Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act.” The legislation pertains to the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) and private ownership of mineral rights in national forests across the nation. 

 It would repeal existing statute which allows the U.S. Forest Service to create rules relating to the leasing and permitting of privately-held mineral rights in the ANF. 

Plans for the legislation were announced at a press conference today near the Drake Well Museum, site of the nation’s first commercial oil well.

"I will be introducing the Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act in the House in the coming weeks,” said Thompson, chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry, and a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. “Federal courts have ruled that the U.S. Forest Service lacks regulatory authority over privately held mineral rights. This legislation corrects existing law and is consistent with the findings of the courts, which ruled against new federal regulations and further attempts to shut down activity in the Allegheny National Forest," added Thompson.

Thompson was joined at today’s press conference by Kevin Moody, general counsel for the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.

“I commend Congressman Thompson for authoring this legislation,” Moody said. “Our national forests are not national parks. The oil and gas industry has been an essential part of northwestern Pennsylvania since the drilling of the first oil well in 1859. This legislation would make sure the use of private mineral rights is a cornerstone of our region’s economic future. Workers for close to 100 oil and gas companies depend on drilling in the Allegheny National Forest for their livelihoods. This legislation would give them the security of knowing new regulations could not limit expansion or put them out of work.”

The Allegheny National Forest covers more than 500,000 acres and is located in Elk, Forest, McKean and Warren counties.


Anonymous said...

I was in the forest just last week. There's very few areas that aren't drilled and developed.

I wish GT would take a more rational, balanced approach to forest usage and management.

But he accepts thousands and thousands of dollars from oil, gas, and logging interests, and has a "to hell with everyone else" attitude towards the forests.

We realize the National Forests aren't National Parks, but neither are they solely for the benefit of industry, and the overriding influence in OUR Allegheny Forest has been to cater to every whim of resource extractors.

GT should be ashamed of his blatant pandering to industry at the expense of the future of the forest. Too bad we can't elect someone who's at least willing to listen to reasonable use recommendations for our Allegheny National Forest. We are the laughing stock of national forests, in large part due to narrow minded politicians who refuse to protect it in any way from overdevelopment.

Anonymous said...

While I understand where you're coming from, what you're overlooking is ownership of the OGMs within national forests and how far technology has taken the industry. No longer does a rig have to be raised every few hundred feet to access the resources belonging to private landowners. Horizontals can and do go out 1 - 2 miles in a wheel spoke fashion @ depths starting a mile below the surface.
Who do you know who would like to have their resources developed but cannot ... thanks to a well-meaning but antiquated law on the books?

Anonymous said...

9:53. What are you talking about hydrofracking?? That does twice as much damage as conventional drilling. I live in the heart of the ANF and I can tell you it is a mess even with the LIMITED oversight of the forest service. I can't imagine what a total disaster the ANF will be if they are given free reign. Just because they own mineral rights doesn't mean they can do anything they want. Surface owners do have some rights. GT has been bought by the industry and the only people he cares about are himself and his oil/gas/timber buddies. It borders on criminal.

Anonymous said...

GT has lost another vote.

Anonymous said...

No, GT actually cares about the health care "industry" more than even the oil/gas companies' profits. Not the health care, mind you, but those who capitalize and capitalize on profit on people who need the care.

Anonymous said...

He should be voted out of office. Big money and dumb people just keep on electing him every time he comes up for election. He hasn't done anything for us in this area since he was first elected.

Anonymous said...

So there goes the land that is supposed to belong to all of us. As if it was raped and pillaged enough by franking already. Thompson does not represent the people of PA. His campaign is financed by big gas and oil and that who he is beholden too. I cannot believe people actually vote for him when he does NOTHING for the people of Pennsylvania. It makes me sick. He makes me sick. It is time for the citizens of this Commonwealth to wake up and think of THEMSELVES. Vote this guy out of office before it's too late. Oh wait…maybe it already is. Thanks all you Republicans out there. Your votes leave nothing for your children and your grandchildren. But big business sure is doing well with Thompson in office.

Anonymous said...

when your grandchildren are working for minimum wage and the wealthy and big business destroy the middle class it will be too late Most of the politicans just play lip service to get elected they will never fix the tax code to be fair for the working people.Everyone complains about illegals but big business will never let anything stand in the way of profits so forget any thing meaningful being done Remember Reagan signed the first amensty bill in the 80s so don't point fingers at either party.Citizens United gave big business the opening to control your govenment.In a few years there will be the haves and havenots Good Luck changing it

Anonymous said...

Can the person owning the mineral rights under down town Coudersport have them drilled and exploited?