Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Compulsory pooling

Today was library day. Maya seemed to be in a mood

Happy Hour last night: mango margarita. yum.


Daniel requested lego sets for his birthday. Oliver would assemble each piece and then Daniel would play with them

Daniel stretching while  Oliver works
As it turns out, just because you may own some land, doesn't mean you own what is under it. This has become a local issue because just west of us, in the township my son used to live in and where we had been looking for houses, an oil company believes that there is oil underground and that they have a right to it regardless of what the owners and the rest of the township says. Everyone in the area most likely to have oil (no wells have been drilled yet) have had contracts sent to them to give over their mineral rights in return for some small share of the profit. Some people in various subs have found out that the mineral rights to their land was sold by farmers generations ago and thus they have no say. But the kicker is, even if you refuse to cede over your mineral rights, your oil still can be taken from you  in this weird variation of eminent domain  called 'compulsory pooling'. Actually people have been advised not to sign the contracts given them unless they consult a lawyer to get a better deal. The money given to them potentially through compulsory pooling will be better. Also township officials have been made powerless by an act by the State of Michigan in 2011  to forbid drilling operations lest they become influenced by the ones who elected them. They have to prove that the drilling operation will cause irreparable harm. Pollution by the heavy trucks, gas flares, constant pump noise and decreased property values don't count. The township already lost that battle.

Ah so you may be sitting on a gold mine.Will you move to a Beverly Hills Mansion with a big cement pond ala Jed Clampett? Well even if oil has been found, sleazy oil companies have their ways of accounting such that you will never see much of the profits. As soon as the powers-that-be plug up one loophole, another way to cheat the landowners is found. And what happens if the oil company goes bankrupt? Who fills in all those holes?

This is not fracking, we've been told so presumably the aquifer is safe from these wells. I assume we in the city are safe from these operations. But to me, it just doesn't seem right that a corporation can take what is yours for profit.

So it seems that faulty septic fields and questionable aquifers aren't the only thing to worry about outside the city limits

Days of rain and thunder though a short reprieve this morning good for a run. Should have bicycled yesterday as rain is in the forecast for the next 4-5 days. I took Maya to the library but she refused to participate in the group activities and just sat frozen. I did take her and Tessa to the park later.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

That sounds a horrendous state of affairs. I suspect that the gold will go to very few, and the slag to a great many.
Loved the photos of your grandbabies, and found the rest of the post disturbing. Very disturbing. I hope some equitable solution can be found.


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