Forced pooling sparks new fight over fracking

Gas severance tax prediction may be too high.

NEW BEDFORD, Pa. (WKBN) — An old law has sparked a new battle over shale oil and gas in Pennsylvania.

At issue: Whether a company can force people who don’t want drilling under their land to accept it.

Houston-based Hilcorp is trying to use a state law to drill under the property of four holdout landowners in New Bedford. It’s called “forced pooling” and means that the people who don’t sign leases get bundled in with those who do, to make drilling more efficient.

The company said that invoking the old law ensures that everyone is compensated for the minerals they own.

Hearings are planned for a later date.

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