Harrison Amendment to Fracking Bill Would Address Concerns about Landowner Rights

Representative Pricey Harrison is introducing an amendment to SB820, the North Carolina fracking bill, that would address many of our major concerns with the bill. We are grateful to Representative Harrison for taking action to protect the rights of North Carolina landowners. We hope that legislators will support this amendment as they consider the bill today.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what the amendment does:

  • Continues the current study by DENR and others, in place of establishing a mining commission. (Amend. § 1(a)-(c).)
  • Offers the consumer protection provisions in the House Environment Committee substitute of S. 820.
  • Extends notice of land-disturbing activities to 60 days and requires the offering of a proposed surface use agreement that the landowner can negotiate, accept, or reject (Amend. § 3, amending proposed § 113-420(b)-(b1).)
  • Increases minimum royalty payments from 12.5% to 15%. (Amend. § 3, amending proposed § 113-420(c).)
  • Modifies proposed lender lease approval from disclosure to lessor advising purchaser to obtain lender’s approval to requirement that the gas operator get written approval from any lender on the property. (Amend. § 3, amending proposed § 113-420(i).)
  • Extends right of rescission from 3 days to 30 days. (Amend. § 3, amending proposed § 113-420(j).)
  • Terminates power of DENR or Commission to force pool, but allows voluntary pooling. (Amend. § 5, proposed § 113-393(a), (e).)
  • Grants landowner right to refuse development of gas or oil infrastructure. (Amend. § 5, proposed § 113-393(e).)
  • Increases severance tax maximum limit to $0.26 per 1000 cubic feet of gas. (Amend. § 8, proposed 113-387.)
  • Requires proposed surface use and compensation agreements  and specifies what should be in them
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