The Times Tribune of Scranton, PA raises the specter of forced pooling, thereby allowing the increased exploration and production of energy from the Marcellus Shale Strata. Forced pooling has been allowed in many jurisdictions in order to increase mineral production. However, issues of fairness of the accounting between the participants, as well as what is a fair royalty is taken out of a free marketplace negotiations. This may create an effective taking of property rights.
The Marcellus Shale natural gas industry wants to see legislation attached to any severance tax adopted by the state that would force property owners who refuse leases to allow drillers to gather the gas beneath their land, an industry coalition leader said Monday.
Such a statute would help avoid an unnecessary proliferation of wells, Mr. Spigelmyer said, but critics say it is a form of eminent domain.
In May, State Rep. Camille "Bud" George, D-74, Houtzdale, Clearfield County, called it a "controversial, ugly provision" through which "an intrusive government would be depriving an individual's property rights to benefit private companies."