House Passes Thompson’s Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed  Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson’s H.R. 3881, the Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2015, which reaffirms the rights of mineral owners in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). The measure was approved by a vote of 395 to 3.  

H.R. 3881, will codify federal court rulings related to the regulation of privately held mineral rights in the ANF. Since 2009, federal courts have determined that the U.S. Forest Service lacks legal authority to restrict access to private mineral rights in the ANF and therefore is prohibited from creating new rules. The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate for approval.

“I am thankful to the overwhelming bipartisan support for this bill, which reaffirms the importance of private property rights and nearly a century of cooperation between private mineral owners and the federal government,” said Thompson, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee.

“It was not easy to get to this point. We have worked this bill through the committee process and made a compelling argument to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress on the importance of this legislation.  Despite repeated attempts by extreme environmental groups to shut down energy production in the Allegheny National Forest, the Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act will once and for all, provide assurances to the future of jobs and the communities that rely upon our abundant natural resources,” Thompson added.

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