During an interview featured in a new investigative piece by Reuters, State Representative Mark D. Okey (D-Carrollton) voiced his opposition to Chesapeake Energy’s forceful practices regarding the leasing of land for oil and gas development.
“They believe in intimidation tactics. They threaten you. They will yell at you….It’s all about getting you to sign,” Rep. Okey told the news outlet. “You don’t sign? We’ll go around you. You don’t sign? You’ll not get anything out of your mineral rights. You don’t sign? Then you’re going to pay the price because we’re going to take those minerals from you.”
Representative Okey is responding to constituents who have labeled Chesapeake’s “landmen” as the most aggressive – and sometimes deceptive – in securing leases. Many Ohio landowners have testified that Chesapeake seeks to “force pool” their land, which uses a little-known provision of state law to mandate that unleased property is included in drilling units.
Representative Okey has sponsored HB 493, known as “The Truth in Leasing Act,” to guarantee basic leasing protections and a minimum royalty for Ohio’s landowners akin to those found in neighboring states.
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