Your rights as a lease holder
Even if you have signed a gas lease, you still have rights – although these will vary state by state.
Your rights are guaranteed by PA Constitution, Article 1 Section 27, which states:
"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."
Obtain a copy of your lease at the County Recorder of Deeds which could have important clauses to review which are often problematic.
Terminating your lease
Depending on your situation there may be grounds to terminate your lease. Consult with an attorney to review your lease and identify if grounds for termination exist:
- Failure to initiate operations within a negotiated primary term
- Failure to produce in paying quantities
- Cessation of production
- Failure to pay fees owed
- Pipeline Safety Coalition
- ConservationTools.org section on Natural Gas Guidance
- Handout prepared by the attorneys at Smith Butz — Leasing Your Gas - What You Should Know
- Marcellus Shale Legal Issues for Landowners
- Landman Leasing Tactics
- There is a landman at my door!
- West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization — Advice for Common Situations
- Landman's Handbook — a useful document for understanding how to respond to landman tactics
- Know_Your_Rights.pdf from Mountain Watershed Association
- Marcellus Outreach Butler: Before You Sign a Lease