Think You Own Your Property and Mineral Rights? Think Again


Do you own your mineral rights? That was a question that I didn’t think should be at the top of my list when I bought my house. Until that is I found out about HB 464 with a quick google search combined with the term “authority over all persons and property public and private”; that and of course attending some county commission meetings and IDL meetings at the state capital.

Let me begin by prefacing this with my belief being that this is supposed to be a free country and good ideas do not require force. What I mean by that is that in a truly free country; generally speaking, people should be allowed to do what they want as long as they do not harm others and do not violate their natural, constitutionally protected rights. No matter what side of the issue you sit, I think at least if people want to have their land drilled, they should be able to do just that as a free human being, be able to choose to do that as long as they are not harming others in the process. Where I have a tough time especially with my research on the gas and oil issue is that with the forced pooling and integration, you as an individual can be forced to have your land drilled whether you want to or not. The scales appear to be tipped toward lobbyists and corporations who want this rather than to the individual average everyday person who just wants to be able to choose what happens on their own property. I have always known that when it comes down to it you don’t actually own anything and this is proven when you have your home paid off, but if you don’t pay your taxes what happens to your house? However this is an additional kick while you are down. After assessing the risks involved from a financial and individual property rights and constitutional perspective, there are a lot more questions than answers from what I have seen personally.

  1. What are the financial ramifications (including mortgage and insurance)?
  2. What guarantees are in place if your well is damaged or contaminated and how would it be fixed?
  3. What authority constitutionally does the state and the oil/gas industries have, to force you against your will to do something on your private property which you pay for?
  4. What other areas can this “authority” (the state having control over all persons and property public and private) be applied to, if this is allowed to happen? Can this precedence be applied to other areas such as the second amendment, etc…
  5. Why is Idaho receiving 2.5% compared to states like Wyoming and North Dakota at 12%?
  6. Which elected official signed away my mineral rights and what real authority do they have to do that?
  7. Why does a relative of one of the largest land owners in Idaho sit on an unelected board determining the fate of your property rights right here in Gem County?
  8. Why are there multiple reports of people being told they are signing a seismic testing approval and finding out they have in fact signed an oil lease “by mistake”?
  9. Why is main stream media not covering this?
  10. What can we do about all of this? GET INVOLVED!!

“First they came for the communists but I was not a Communist so I didn’t speak out. Then they came for the socialists and the trade unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish , so I didn’t speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.” — Martin Niemoller

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