BRADFORD COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is in Bradford County answering questions an ongoing lawsuit with two natural gas companies.
The lawsuit, involving gas royalty payments, was first filed in 2015. Eyewitness News reporter Eric Deabill has the story.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General says his office has received more than 500 complaints from landowners who believe two gas companies engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices.
Josh Shapiro j told the crowd here that even though this civil lawsuit has been in the courts for three years he is committed to keeping up the fight.
Dozens of landowners filled the auditorium at Towanda High School Thursday to hear the latest about a lawsuit by the Pennsylvania Attorney Generals Office against two natural gas companies.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro is looking to recover money for thousands of landowners who may have had money wrongfully deducted from their fracking royalty checks.
“I know the companies say it’s not a consumer protection thing but it really when it comes to it it really is” Said Bill Wilson.
Over the years, some homeowners have complained about getting checks for only ten cents from the gas companies.
Some people have even received negative statements.
Homeowners who entered into leases say they thought they’d get royalties from the sale of natural gas without post-production costs — only to eventually be charged for things like refinement and transportation.
“It’s just absolutely egregious what they’re doing and making people fight for every nickel,” said Jackie Root, Immediate Past President, PA National Association of Royalty Owners
“You’re letting people take gas from right out underneath your property, you thought you had a deal, you shook hands but now you can’t plan on anything and many people are losing farms, they’re losing money. We know we’ve lost millions of dollars” Noted Commissioner Ed Bustin, (D) Bradford County.
A judge in Bradford County has already found that the lawsuit should move forward — but the two gas companies have appealed to commonwealth court.
Oral arguments were held in November 2018 and is that that court agrees with the Bradford County Court — this case could finally head to trial.