Energy companies were supposed to compensate rural Virginians for the billions of dollars worth of gas they sucked from their land, but a local newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation found that the money has instead been diverted into escrow accounts for over 20 years. If the landowner even knows the money is there, it’s nigh impossible to get it out, and in any event, the companies have only been putting in a fraction of what they’re supposed to. A rubber-stamping regulatory board that hadn’t done an audit for a decade only compounded the problem. I drink your milkshake, indeed.
1. Money made from Southwest Va. gas wells isn’t reaching people it should
2. Siphoning natural gas profits from under the feet of landowners
3. Captive assets: conflict over gas rights traps royalties in escrow accounts
4. Coal companies block efforts to access natural gas royalties
5. Natural gas escrow fund bleeding money
6. Underfoot, Out of Reach, Part Six: Where are the gas royalties?
7. Underfoot, Out of Reach, Part Seven: An audit long delayed
8. Southwest Virginia’s Natural Gas, Underfoot, Out of Reach, Part 8: Sue, split or do nothing
UNDERFOOT, OUT OF REACH [The Bristol Herald Courier]