Marcellus Shale Is the ‘Next Big Thing’April 14, 2011 – In The News
The boom of natural gas drilling in parts of rural Pennsylvania has many thinking it could be a game changer for the economy. Companies have invested billions in this natural resource and drillers have expressed plans for expansion throughout Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The increased drilling leads to an increased need for lawyers--from those who help landowners understand the complex leases they are offered to those who draft rules and regulations.
"Its been interesting because in the places where they are drilling and leasing, there aren't a lot of lawyers," said Joel Bolstein. "We're seeing these relatively good country lawyers, general practitioners who do a lot of different work, are the lawyers representing large landowners. They've become very smart and sophisticated at it."
Many firms have joined the Marcellus Shale Coalition, as partners in the industry, while others have been designated to work solely on Marcellus Shale issues and litigation.
"These are people--landowners and farmers--who are making a lot of money off of this. These are not companies making this money. These are landowners. Mom and pops who own a farm, just struggling to get by are now making $80,000 a month in royalty payments. No one wants to see a wave of plaintiff lawyers try to end this industry."