Earthworks’ comments on Mineral Interest Pooling Act rule proposal

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Opposition to new rules considered by the Texas Railroad Commission Jan 30, 2012

From the fact sheet:

General Comment: The MIPA has been in effect for more than 30 years, and has more or less functioned during that time without administrative rules ever being adopted.

The RCT’s poorly thought through decision in the Finley case turned the purpose of the MIPA – allowing a smaller landowner who desired to produce to put himself into a larger producing tract – upside-down. In Finley, the RCT essentially gave a club to gas producers to force unwilling small landowners to produce – regardless of whether producing was in their economic or environmental interest.

In essence, Finley has allowed corporations to condemn private property interests for the benefit of the corporations.

Therefore, we believe the RCT should adopt rules that undo the mischief Finley has unleashed, and return MIPA to the role it had for 30 years – leveling the playing field between large operators and small landowners.