Commonwealth v. Chesapeake Energy Corp.

In Commonwealth v. Chesapeake Energy Corp., the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reviewed an order from the Court of Common Pleas denying preliminary objections by natural-gas companies in a lawsuit initiated by the Pennsylvania Attorney General. The Attorney General filed the suit acting as parens patriae under Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), 73 P.S. §§ 201-1—201-9.3, claiming that the companies engaged in unfair as well as deceptive practices and wrongfully underpaid royalties to landowners. The Supreme Court determined that the energy companies were not engaged in “trade or commerce” and were, thus, not subject to the UTPCPL. As a result, the Court largely sustained the energy companies’ preliminary objections.

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