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House Passes Thompson Bill to Protect Private Mineral Rights in the Allegheny National Forest

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 6, 2016 -

Tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3881 (Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson), the Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2016, by a vote of 395-3.

In the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) the federal government owns the surface rights, but the subsurface mineral rights have always been privately owned. Through a liberal interpretation of an antiquated statute and a sweetheart settlement with environmental groups, the Forest Service created their own regulatory loop hole to restrict development on private mineral rights.

“The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act reaffirms the longstanding cooperation between owners of private mineral rights and the federal government. The bill ensures that extreme environmental groups will not be able to use frivolous legal challenges as a tactic to impede energy production, while also protecting the jobs and communities that depend upon the many resources of the Allegheny National Forest,” Rep. Thompson said.

H.R. 3881 clarifies the repeatedly upheld decision by federal courts to protect the rights of private mineral owners in the ANF.

“Passage of Rep. Thompson’s bill clarifies the limited statutory authority of the U.S. Forest Service and reaffirms the legal supremacy of privately held mineral rights. This commonsense legislation will protect families and small businesses around the Allegheny National Forest who rely on these resources in their everyday lives,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) said.

Click here to learn more about H.R. 3881.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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