While busy trying to sell out to the Chinese and over-stating their gas reserves, and funding fracking mockumentaries Chesapeake Energy has somehow found time to rip-off American landowners. Imagine that. And some New York towns run by fracking collaborators can’t wait to be fracked by Chesapeake and their scriveners at the DEC.
A family of Johnson County landowners is suing Chesapeake, the country’s second-largest natural gas company, for allegedly cheating them out of royalties. Their lawyer, Dallas-based attorney James Holmes, says they can thank endlessly indulgent Texas laws and a taxing authority more inclined to look the other way.The complaint filed Tuesday in federal court accuses Chesapeake of using its gas-gathering and purchasing subsidiaries to “suppress the wellhead gas prices on which it pays royalties” to “imbed” post-production costs — something the landowners say their lease agreement forbids. Under the contract, Holmes says, Chesapeake is required to pay royalties based on the market value of the gas. Instead, he alleges, the company deducted costs for things like gas compression.