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How the Fracking Industry Avoids Paying Royalties to Landowners

Don Feusner ran dairy cattle on his 370-acre slice of northern Pennsylvania until he could no longer turn a profit by farming. Then, at age 60, he sold all but a few Angus and aimed for a comfortable retirement on money from drilling his land for natural gas instead.


A Marcellus shale gas extraction well pad and farm in Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Robert Jackson.

It seemed promising. Two wells drilled on his lease hit as sweet a spot as the Marcellus shale could offer—tens of millions of cubic feet of natural gas gushed forth. Last December, he received a check for $8,506 for a month’s share of the gas.

Then one day in April, Feusner ripped open his royalty envelope to find that while his wells were still producing the same amount of gas, the gusher of cash had slowed. His eyes cascaded down the page to his monthly balance at the bottom: $1,690. For the rest of this article by Pro Publica Please click the link to EcoWatch: http://ecowatch.com/2013/fracking-industry-avoids-royalties-landowners/

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