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Mineral Owners Oppose Proposed Ban On Fracking in Norman, OK

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cara

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Mineral Owners Oppose Proposed Ban On Fracking in Norman, OK
« on: August 12, 2014, 09:35:42 AM »
PRESS RELEASE (August 11, 2014)
Mineral Owners Oppose Proposed Ban on Fracking in the City of Norman

Two New York attorneys were flown into Norman today to discuss the possibility of writing city ordinances to ban the hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells (or “fracking”) similar to what some cities have done in New York.  “This isn’t New York!” said Terry Stowers, a Norman mineral owner attorney and Executive Director of the Coalition of Oklahoma Surface and Mineral Owners (COSMO).  “The State of Oklahoma has a very long history of doing a good job of regulating oil and gas operations at the state level through the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, including the fracking process,” said Stowers.  “Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about the evils of fracking that is being propagated by those who think we should eliminate oil and gas development altogether. That would be devastating to Oklahoma as a state, and the 1.6 million Oklahoma mineral owners that depend upon their royalty income. In fact, every school district in Oklahoma would be negatively impacted by such a ban. The School Land Trust administered by the Commissioners of the Land Office is the largest mineral owner in the state,” said Stowers.

“We have been fracking oil and gas wells in Oklahoma for over 60 years, including wells within the cities of Norman and Oklahoma City. In that 60 years, there has not been a single documented case in Oklahoma where fracture treating a well has caused pollution of the ground water,” said Mason Mungle, another Norman resident and President of OK-NARO (the Oklahoma affiliate of the National Royalty Owners Association). “Royalty owners are widows, teachers, farmers, ranchers, homemakers, accountants, firemen, plumbers, retirees, dentists, small business owners, fast-food workers, pet groomers, roofers, policemen, florists, carpenters, bricklayers, and ordinary every-day Oklahoma citizens. A fracking ban would eliminate a critical source of income for these people,” said Mungle. “The mineral estate is a valuable property right that a city just can’t take under the guise of ‘home rule”, and if somehow it does, it has to pay for it through a condemnation proceeding”. 

Stowers agreed, “I don’t know about in New York, but in Oklahoma, municipal ‘home rule’ ordinances must be consistent with, and are subject to, the Oklahoma Constitution and other laws of this state; an ordinance banning fracking would not be. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has exclusive jurisdiction to regulate oil and gas operations and is responsible for the prevention of pollution to the waters of this state resulting from oil and gas activities,” said Stowers. “Any attempt to ban the fracking of a well by a municipality would violate the exclusivity to regulate granted by the legislature to Commission. Further, any such ordinance would certainly constitute a ‘taking’ of valuable property rights by the municipality from the mineral owner. The Oklahoma Constitution is clear, a governmental entity cannot take private property without paying the owner just compensation for the rights taken.”

“It would be unwise for the city of Norman to expose itself to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages in a reverse condemnation class action by tens of thousands of Oklahoma mineral owners,” said Stowers.  “If the city is concerned about wells being fracture stimulated within their municipality, it should voice that concern to Commission – the agency with the exclusive jurisdiction to regulate it.”

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admin

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Re: Mineral Owners Oppose Proposed Ban On Fracking in Norman, OK
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 11:48:45 PM »
Thanks Cara....   It would be nice if some of the ATTY's here were as spot-on as the apparently, more experienced ones in OK.  Mineral owners would likely not be in the never ending holding pattern we have been in over the past 5 years.
"I gave my kid a new credit card after he maxed out his last one.  He maxed the new one too and it appears that I am dumb enough to give him another one."  Too late now to stop.  The debt is too big.

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cara

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Re: Mineral Owners Oppose Proposed Ban On Fracking in Norman, OK
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 09:37:18 AM »
I have spoken with one of the  attendees.  The basic group was basically hand picked with no mineral owners.  The only reason Terry Stowers was allowed to speak is because his name was mentioned a number of times by others.  Other NARO representatives included the Executive Director and the past National President (both OK residents).  There was alot of noise and shouting that made the local news.

The rable rousers initially receive an open door that will close fairly quickly since their now treeding on turff unlike NY.  In both TX & OK oil and gas development is an every day happening and the good old boys will stop these activities in the near future.  These good old boys are worth as much, if not more, than the likes of the Park Foundation and they do not like un-needed interference.