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An article in The Legal Intelligencer reported that a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is restricting the U.S. Forest Service’s regulatory authority over drilling in the Allegheny National Forest. The decision reaffirms the statute that mineral rights owners have primacy over surface owners.

The article titled, “Third Circuit Drilling Ruling Could Have Broader Implications,” discussed how many attorneys believe the ruling was made to help return things to normal and that drillers will still be obligated to follow Pennsylvania and other federal laws when working.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorney Megan E. Smith told The Legal Intelligencer, “[i]t’s not giving the farm away. It’s not that these operators don’t have obligations to the surface owner, it’s that they have certain rights to extract [oil and gas] and the government isn’t entitled to regulate in such a way to preclude reasonable development within a reasonable timeframe.”

Read the full article - “Third Circuit Drilling Ruling Could Have Broader Implications” (The Legal Intelligencer, October 1, 2013)