Wow, I’m a conservative. Who knew?
This is from Mayor Calvin Tillman:
It has been very disappointing to see our conservative values continue to dwindle under the pressure from large corporations. In Texas our politicians talk conservative values right up to the point where they fail to follow them. Two foundation pieces of conservatism, are property rights and the free market system. In Texas, our “conservative” politicians have taken away both from the average Texan. You are allowed to enjoy your property, as long a corporation or someone with more money doesn’t want it. This used to be a state where you could move out in the rural areas, buy a piece of land, and live in peace. Now if you move to the country to have some property, you are an immediate target for a corporation to take your land, or make it unlivable.
The prime example of this is the oil and gas industry. The State of Texas has taken away most of the rights that pertain to land ownership from the citizens and given it to these large corporations. One glaring example is the natural gas pipeline midstream companies, which have been given the tremendous power of eminent domain. These are private, for profit companies that have been awarded all the power of government to condemn property. This not only takes away property rights, but it destroys the free market system that allows for a property owner to negotiate in good faith for the use of their property. Instead the private property owners are immediately subjected to threats and intimidations. Due to these companies being for profit, it is in their best interest to obtain the easement and install the pipeline as cheap as possible, and they use whatever tactic necessary to achieve this. Therefore, private property owners are paid a fraction of the value of the land and not compensated for associated property damage. This is not limited to the active drilling areas, due to pipelines being installed all over the state.
Another example is what is known as forced pooling. It has many names and variations, but again it is another method to transfer private property rights to large corporations. This again takes away the requirement to negotiate in good faith from the private property owner for their mineral properties. In Texas the minerals are the dominant property right, so the surface owners have little input on what happens to their property. However, under forced pooling, the energy companies can even take your minerals without your consent. This again takes away private property rights and undermines the free market system. The private property owner also has no protection if something goes wrong in the process. Therefore, these corporations can take your property without your consent, destroy it, and the only recourse is a lawsuit that may cost the private property owner tens of thousands of dollars.
I have seen other “conservative” states like Pennsylvania following the Texas policy of destroying private property rights, and not allowing private citizens to enjoy their property investments. I would urge the other states to not do it the “Texas Way”. In Texas it is only worth owning property, if you are willing to concede that you have no right to enjoy that property. So you must ask yourself if that is what you want for the citizens of your state? Private property rights and free market system are the values that are important to the “Average Joe” trying to live the American Dream, let’s not continue to destroy this.
Mayor, DISH, TX
“Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it”
I agree! Except I think some conservatives get confused by the free market system. I think a free market system works well in many cases but, because of people who are excessively greedy, it won’t work without government regulation.
I was horribly disappointed recently, when I visited one of our conservative representatives and heard him talk about “incentives” for Big Gas to entice them to do the right thing. Hells bells! This industry gets enough corporate welfare as it is. They don’t need any more!!!
And I fail to understand how true conservatives can reconcile the belief in strong property rights then completely ignore and tramp all over the property rights of landowners in favor of mineral owners. That cognitive dissonance must be painful.
About Sharon Wilson
Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.
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Mr. Tillman, the Texas Mineral Interst Pooling Act, was passed forty years ago when Democrats ruled Austin! Forced pooliing is seldom used by the RRC after failure for mineral owners to reach agreement on leasing their mineral rights.
The act is for conservation of costs and leaves a smaller footprint by drilling fewer wells. For example, one drillling rig can drill four wells at one location, if the acreage meets RRC requirements.
The Rule of Capture allows the oil/gas industry the right to capture from anyone who doesn't agree to lease; therefore, forced pooling protects that mineral owner.
God gave us natural resources to use for public welfare and a better way of life. Forced pooling and eminent domain, whether for transmission lines, pipelines, highways are for the public welfare, not just to benefit greeding corporations!
What is required to keep the light bulbs on at your house and your neighbors? Only 3% of our electricity is from renewable energy.
If you and other anti-drilling activists shut down the industry, we can buy from countries with connections to terrorists who are not democratic. The economy will suffer in Texas creating large shortfalls in our budgets so medicaid spending will be cut, schools will suffer, more people will be unemployed. Your taxes will go up and all real estate values will sharply decline.
Mr. Tillman, you never owned your mineral rights, so a big corporation did not take anything away from you! You chose where to live. Perhaps you would have gas wells drilled somewhere where only piss ants live; but, natural resources are not just out in the boonies!
You have joined up with the hard left in taking over the oil and gas industry by the most radical White house ever! Add this to the list of takeover of healthcare, banks, auto industry and now filing a law suit against Arizona. (At a time Hezbollah is working with the drug cartel).
All actions are to federalize private enterprise. If you are truly a conservative, figure out how you are helping a radical agenda. Remember, you are known by the friends you keep!
Biff Tannen says
When did this wondrous past ever exist? It was always been this way.
You're pining for a past that never existed. Corporations have and will always do whatever is needed to get what they want. Now they use the government. Then they used violence and coercion.
Brown Bess says
Was the economy suffering in Texas before 2005 and fracking began? No.
Was the old Dem Party as much in the pocket of Big Oil and Gas at the Repubs are now? Yes. In fact it was the Seven Sisters Oil companies that write the charter for both the Railroad Commission and the predecessor of the TCEQ.
Is eminent domian a conservative value when it's used for private gain? No.
Did the country flourish under FDR when he regulated banks, railroads and other industry the first time around? Yep. In fact, Ronald Reagan voted for FDR. Twice.
Is trading short term financial gain for long-term, irreversible damage to water and land resources a conservative value? No
Mister, I bet I know what your conservative values are – the ones you heard on Fox. Oh yeah, and you can't stand it that a black guy is president.
Thanks Mayor Tillman for reminding everyone what real conservatives should be saying about all this.
Tim Ruggiero says
Anonymous: Once again, I have to laugh. First, you and the rest of Industry are so incredibly proud of your chosen profession of stealing other people's land, drilling wells 200 feet from our children's bedroom's, permanantly contaminating our land, ruining our property values and rendering the homes unsellable at anywhere near market price, yet so incredibly emabarrassed at using your name on a blog post.
Second, we're sick of the excuses. That's what it's called when the reason for your action is bad, and you have no desire to change your behavior. Example: "We're so heavily regulated by the TRRC." Translation: "My dog ate my homework."
Third: Why is always one extreme or another with your people? It's either dirty natural gas or being forced into buying oil from terrorist nations. If you get one more regulation you have to follow on top of painfully few the TRRC always lets you slide on anyway, thousands upon thousands of jobs are at risk, and millions of dolalrs in tax revenue are lost. We'll have to start closing down dozoens of schools, closing fire depts. and laying off police forces, and the roads will fall in disrepair, and if we keep it up, the Earth just might spin off it's axis.
It's just not that hard to DRILL RIGHT. Are there increased costs? Do what every other industry does- pass it on to the consumer.
If doing it RIGHT means it costs more, then so be it. The price of a gallon of gas chnages everyday, and is almost always an increase. Anyone you know give up their car?
And one last thing- If the purpose of forced pooling was to reduce the pad sites and footprints, then no one would have to be forced into it-just negotiate a a better deal. But that's just it, isn't it? Why negotiate when you can just take it with the blessing of the state?