Tucked into Gov. Wolf’s unsuccessful budget proposal last week was what looked to some like a sweetener for Republicans from oil and gas counties. It was a ban on the practice of deducting postproduction costs from royalties, an issue which has outraged many landowners in heavily-drilled areas.
Landowners have complained for years that oil and gas companies have subtracted the cost of transporting and refining natural gas from their royalty checks. In some cases, landowners have seen their checks cut by 90 percent or more because of the deductions.