Re: [hreg] Drilling in the National Parks
- Ian Thomas was fired from his job as a cartographer for the US Geological
Survey. His offense? He posted a scientific map, the result of months of
project reasearch, on the USGS website. The map showed the primary calving
areas of the porcupine caribou within Ian's area of research. The problem?
The area in question is a part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, long
a target for oil company exploitation and drilling. Our new president and
his big oil advisors don't plan to tolerate being balked on this issue, not
even by science. Ian Thomas is one of the first casualties of the War on the
Environment sponsored by the new Bush administration. Read his story at
"I strongly believe that the termination of my position by the United States
Geological Survey (USGS) was a gross over-reaction due to the political
considerations USGS is currently operating under with regard to caribou and
development for oil within Area 1002 in the Arctic National Wildlife
From: Claude Foster <ccfoster@...>
To: 'firstname.lastname@example.org' <email@example.com>
Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2001 10:06 AM
Subject: RE: [hreg] Drilling in the National Parks
>Nice Summary of Oil Leasing. It is part of the public record but thispits,
>summary may answer some of our questions.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ChasMauch@... [SMTP:ChasMauch@...]
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2001 6:25 PM
>> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> 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
>> lease goes to the highest bidder. The price varies greatly depending on
>> >>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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> and by how much?
>> In Texas the law says the companies must pay a royalty of at least 1/8 of
>> 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
>> negotiate. Most royalty owners have the company sell their share of
>> production to the same market the company sell theirs to, and for the
>> price, then send them a check. It's a great way for some lucky landowners
>> 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
>> Rocky Mountain and other western states the feds own up to half of the
>> 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
>> Dept of the Interior and have been grossly mismangaged in many cases in
>> past, but that's another story. So far as I know the oil and gas rights
>> been operated pretty well.
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