Thompson’s Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act Subject of House Committee Hearing

April 19, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (PA-5) that will protect the rights of private mineral owners in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) was the subject of a hearing Tuesday by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. 

The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2015, H.R. 3881, seeks to reinforce federal law and consistent rulings of federal courts, which made the determination in 2009 that the U.S. Forest Service cannot create new rules related to the leasing and permitting of privately-held mineral rights in the ANF.

“For nearly a century, landowners have joined with the local and federal government to ensure the continued access to private mineral rights and the continued health of our forest.  Despite that partnership, extreme environmental groups attempted to shut down energy production. Federal courts have ruled with the local communities and in favor of private property rights. The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act will make that ruling law, ensure protection of our local economy and continued access to resources for generations to come,” said Thompson.

Among those providing testimony before the committee were Mark Cline, President of the Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers Association. Cline is general foreman/production manager for Cline Oil, Inc. and resides in Eldred, Pennsylvania. The panel also included Craig Mayer, who testified on behalf of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.

“From the time you wake up in the morning from the sound of your alarm clock, take a shower, eat breakfast and get into your car you have already used over 40 products made from crude oil. So don’t you ever think or let someone tell you we are the only ones benefitting from the minerals under the ANF,” Cline testified.

“The industry has spent vast amounts of money defending our rights to produce in the ANF. These rights were given to us years ago and have been upheld by the courts. This bill will protect those rights. Please vote to approve this bill.” Cline added.

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