Drilling industry attacks Texans' property rights on multiple fronts
By Alan Septoff
March 18, 2011
The drilling industry is really trying to give Texas communities, the environment, and property rights (!) the shaft (please pardon mixing my extraction metaphors).
Last week State Senator Tony Fraser introduced SB 875 which would exempt drilling permit holders from state nuisance law. In a nutshell: if this bill became law, it would turn a permit into a "get out of jail free" card, allowing permit holders to pollute private property -- giving property owners no recourse to sue irresponsible drillers under state nuisance law.
THIS week the drilling industry, under the auspices of the Texas Railroad Commission, is taking another shot at Texans' property rights.
A proposed change to something known as "rule 37" would widen an already iffy circumstance that allows drillers to take a property owner's mineral rights -- without prior notice, without compensation, and without recourse.
Sounds like a horror story, right? The Star-Telegram calls it "eminent domain by another name". That'd be a good way to describe it, if eminent domain were at the discretion of corporations instead of elected government.
Learn more about rule 37, and tell the Texas Railroad Commission to stop giving away our property rights to drillers. NOTE: Comments must be in to the Commission by Tuesday March 22nd at noon.