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Re:(hreg) Drilling in National Parks

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  • Steven Shepard
    We don t have that much federal land in Texas and actually there should be less than there is. Because Texas joined the union as a nation by treaty, Texas
    Message 1 of 1 , May 16, 2001
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      We don't have that much federal land in Texas and actually there should be less than there is.
      Because Texas joined the union as a nation by treaty, Texas retained the right of ownership of all it's land and territories.  What that means is, whenever the federal government abandons a site like Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin or the old Air Force Base in College Station that land goes back under the ownership and control of the State of Texas.
      This treaty decision was incredibly bright and wise by the Texas founding fathers. 
      When I lived in Woodland Park, Colorado most of the land surrounding the city was owned by the federal government and controlled by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
      When Woodland Park attempted to build a bypass loop around their city to prevent large trucks and hazardous loads going through the middle of town the BLM refused to surrender any land for that purpose.  Woodland Park still does not have a loop to this day.
      It was also common for once a year the BLM Swat Team to conduct training exercises on the land and area around Woodland Park.  What the hell the BLM needed a Swat Team for is quite beyond me.  For me it was yet another indication that we do live in a police state and the greatest threat to the American citizen is our own government.
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      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 6:25 PM
      Subject: Re: [hreg] Drilling in the National Parks


      I will try to respond very briefly to your questions as follows:

      >>First, does the government charge anything for use of the land that the
      companies will be drilling on? 

      Yes. Both state and federal governments have periodic public auctions on
      lands that they own that oil companies have expressed an interest in, and the
      lease goes to the highest bidder. The price varies greatly depending on the

      >>Do the oil companies pay any royalty to the government for the oil they
      pull out?

      Yes. A portion of all production goes to the government. This is clear
      profit, since the company has to pay all expenses (except taxes, of course).
      We have all heard horror stories about mining companies getting valuable
      mining rights to gold mines and so on for practically nothing but that is a
      whole different problem which I don't know much about.

      >>Are there any laws that would ensure that the companies clean up after
      themselves if they drill on government land?

      Most standard lease forms contain provisions for the company to fill pits,
      take up pipelines, remove equipment, and "restore the land as nearly as
      possible to its original condition." Also they usually must pay for any
      damage to crops or other things of value on the land.

      >>If oil is found on private property, how are most landowners compensated
      and by how much?

      In Texas the law says the companies must pay a royalty of at least 1/8 of all
      production, but some landowners get more, maybe 1/6 or even up to 1/4
      depending on how hot the company is to lease the land and how well you can
      negotiate. Most royalty owners have the company sell their share of
      production to the same market the company sell theirs to, and for the same
      price, then send them a check. It's a great way for some lucky landowners to
      make a lot of money. Good work if you can get it.

      I don't think we have much (if any) federal land in Texas, but in many of the
      Rocky Mountain and other western states the feds own up to half of the land
      in the entire state. Grazing, mining, timber, and other such rights are
      controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Mines of the
      Dept of the Interior and have been grossly mismangaged in many cases in the
      past, but that's another story. So far as I know the oil and gas rights have
      been operated pretty well.


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