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Committee Passes Rep. Thompson’s Bill to Protect Private Mineral Rights


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 26, 2017 -

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 2316 (Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, R-PA), the “Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017.” This bill clarifies the repeatedly upheld decision by federal courts to protect the rights of private mineral owners in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF).

“This bill is about more than just protecting the rights of landowners in the ANF. It’s about protecting the rights of all Americans and placing a much needed check on the federal bureaucracy’s proclivity for impairing those rights,” Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) stated. “Decades of litigation and lost economic opportunities can be avoided when the law is clear and limits on federal authority are properly defined. The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act provides these much needed safeguards. I look forward to working with Rep. Thompson to advance this important bill into law.”   

As the courts have repeatedly found, the Forest Service does not have the legal authority to require new regulations on energy production in the Allegheny National Forest. The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act is about correcting federal law to reflect those findings, while respecting private property rights and allowing for responsible energy production. I thank Chairman Bishop and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this important legislation,” Rep. Thompson said.

Background:

Last Congress, the House passed Rep. Thompson’s H.R. 3881 by a vote of 395-3.

While the federal government owns the surface rights to ANF, the subsurface mineral rights have always been privately owned. This did not stop the U.S. Forest Service from attempting to usurp private property rights and create a new regulatory hoop to restrict energy development in the ANF.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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