U.S. House Passes Thompson’s Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act

Oct 2, 2017 Issues: Allegheny National Forest

Bill protects energy production,  private mineral owners in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson’s bill that protects oil and gas production in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).

H.R. 2316, the Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act, clarifies existing law relating to energy production in the ANF.

A federal law passed in 1992 required the Forest Service to write new regulations on oil and gas production in the ANF.  However, federal courts have repeatedly ruled that the Forest Service does not have the authority to do so because the minerals in the ANF are privately owned.

Rep. Thompson’s bill, which is consistent with the findings of the courts, corrects federal law by repealing the improper 1992 requirement. 

“Federal courts have ruled that the U.S. Forest Service does not hold the legal authority to further regulate accessing oil and gas in the Allegheny National Forest,” Rep. Thompson said. “This legislation will prevent future lawsuits that impede oil and gas production and will ensure that individuals with sub-surface rights can access their property. With overwhelming bipartisan support again in the House, I look forward to working with the Senate and the President to have this legislation signed into law.”

The bill also contains protections for timbering and ensures that existing timbering authorities granted to the Forest Service will not be changed.  A previous version of the bill was passed by the full House in 2016.