Farmers are promised healthy compensation when they agree to let oil and gas companies mine their lands for fuel. So why are payments to many landowners being slashed by more than half?
The shale underneath one farmer's land has certainly made Chesapeake Energy rich. Two wells on his property produced tens of millions of cubic feet of natural gas. And the gas is still gushing from those wells. But this man finds that the company's promises of untold wealth were a lie, and he's barely paying the light bill on his royalties.
Federal laws are supposed to protect landowners from being ripped off by oil and gas companies drilling on private land. A 1982 law says, specifically, that a landowner cannot make less than 12.5 percent of fuel sales. Despite that law, oil and gas companies believe they can pay their landowners whatever amount they please. Tell the Department of Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue to enforce the minimum royalty law!
We the undersigned are outraged to learn that oil and gas companies are ripping off land owners whose land they are mining for fuel.
Big gas and oil promise farmers that they will be rich if they allow their land to be drilled. Federal law also demands that the companies pay the farmers no less then 12.5 percent of sales from the extracted fuel. And yet, it seems that these same energy industries now believe they can deprive land owners of their rightful royalties with impunity. They pay whatever they feel like paying.
It is worth noting that farmers who give their land over to fracking or drilling take a huge risk with their only real asset. If their water source becomes contaminated, they can no longer fall back on farming. These farmers deserve every penny of the royalties they were promised! Please enforce the law, and make big gas and oil pay what they owe their landlords!
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