Residents are signing land-lease contracts already:
Energy companies are snapping up the rights to underground natural gas from scores of property owners in Lee County, where indications of a massive natural gas deposit recently surfaced.
"There's several levels of concern," said Ted Feitshans, an extension specialist at N.C. State University's agricultural economics department. "One is they're not getting the level of payment they could get if they were skilled negotiators."
Other issues include contracts that would leave property owners legally responsible for the cleanup costs if an environmental accident on their land contaminated neighboring properties or drinking water.
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