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Fracking By Force: Company Wants to Force Landowners to Let Them Drill For Gas

"No Shale Gas" (openclipart)
By Alex Kane
An oil company is trying to use a state law in Pennsylvania to force residents to allow drilling on their land. Hilcorp wants to drill for gas even if landowners don’t want to let them.

So in response, the company is trying to use a 1961 state law that allows them to drill under property without explicit permission. The law is based on a concept known as “forced pooling,” meaning that the company can bundle lease-owners with non-lease owners, and then force landowners without leases to allow drilling.

The landowners could win thousands of dollars if they yield to the company. But at least four property owners are holding out. One homeowner named Suzanne Matteo called the potential for forced drilling “un-American.” Matteo told the Associated Press she is worried about pollution and drilling’s impact on property values.

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