Energy companies have offered to buy gas and oil rights from more than 300 individuals in Moon and Findlay townships.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that while the Allegheny County Airport Authority leased some 9,000 acres of land to Cecil-based Consol Energy in exchange for $500 million, some local land owners have been offered as little as $1 per parcel for their land's oil and gas rights.
Moon resident Paul McLaughlin told the newspaper he feels "robbed" after leasing his property in 2004 and 2005:
“It just seems like we were robbed,” McLaughlin said. “I told my sister, ‘Did you see what these crooks did?' They said there was nothing of value out there. And lo and behold, they're going to make $500 million in the next 20 years.”
In February, Allegheny County entered into a 20-year agreement with Consol Energy, which plans to extract natural gas from land surrounding Pittsburgh International Airport, much of which is in Moon and Findlay.
Before drilling can take place, Consol's plan must be reviewed and approved by Findlay and Moon officials to ensure it complies with local zoning regulations. Both communities permit drilling, though no shale extraction has yet taken place in the municipalities.