FEDERAL - LEGISLATIVE: H.R. 7400 – Protecting American Energy Production Act. On July 1, Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) introduced H.R. 7400, known as the Protecting American Energy Production Act. The bill would prohibit future U.S. presidents from using their executive powers to declare a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing, unless authorized by an Act of Congress. The bill further expresses that states have the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas production on state and privately-owned lands. Read more.STATE - LEGISLATIVE: Natural Gas Tax Credit – Pennsylvania. On July 23, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed HB 732 into law. The bipartisan legislation establishes, among other unrelated provisions, a local resource manufacturing tax credit that provides Pennsylvania manufacturers using dry natural gas to make petrochemicals and fertilizers with eligibility for nearly $667 million in tax breaks over 25 years. According to Bloomberg Government, “the measure, a compromise version forged after Wolf vetoed a similar measure in March, is aimed at encouraging industries that use dry natural gas in manufacturing to locate in the state.” To take advantage of the tax incentives, applicants would have to invest at least $400 million in a project facility using dry natural gas, create a minimum of 800 jobs, and make good faith efforts to hire locally. The Act is effective 60 days from signature. Read more.STATE - JUDICIAL: Dormant Mineral Act; Deeds; Leasing – Ohio. On June 1, in Fonzi v. Brown (Case No. 2020-Ohio-3631), the Ohio Court of Appeals, Seventh District, addressed a Dormant Mineral Act (DMA) case challenging whether reasonable due diligence was exercised in locating potential heirs before serving notice of abandonment by publication. In reversing the trial court’s finding of reasonable due diligence, the Court held that the surface owner’s failure to search for holders outside of Ohio when the severance deed indicated the grantors’ specific township and county there, per se did not meet the reasonable due diligence standard under the Ohio DMA. According to law firm, Frost Brown Todd LLC, “the takeaway from Fonzi is that Ohio courts require surface owners to take reasonable steps to provide holders with actual notice of the intent to abandon their severed mineral interest. Thus, where the severance deed provides specific information that a holder resided outside of the county in which the property is located, the surface owner per se violates the Ohio DMA’s reasonableness standard by not searching there.” Read more.