Whose gas is it? | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whose gas is it?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2008 at 4:37 PM

Ernie Dumas and I have been trading notes today about the legal authority by which the state Game and Fish Commission claims dominion over mineral rights on its land in the recent leasing of acreage for gas exploration. It's a cash-laden agency already thanks to the "conservation" sales tax, so awash in money it has more vehicles than employees.

Game and Fish cites the broad language of Amendment 35 to trump any efforts to claim mineral rights to state lands that should benefit all of Arkansas, not just hunters and anglers. (Remember, though wildlife conservation is a broad charge, Game and Fish is operated almost solely for the hooks and bullets crowd.) Game and Fish is willing to turn over a little money for environmental efforts, but not a dime for general revenue.

Dumas remembered when in olden days a committee of state officials oversaw leasing of public lands and the proceeds went to the general fund. The land commissioner now oversees that effort, but apparently it made no effort to intercede with Game and Fish.

At least one legislator isn't happy about the grab and is already talking a constitutional amendment to overcome Game and Fish if there's no other way to share the wealth. There are complications, however. It could be that federal money used to acquire some wildlife management acreage might require that mineral rights remain with the land for wildlife purposes. It's an issue that will get some serious exploring and worthy discussion. Game and Fish is constitutionally independent, but it must work with the legislature, which appropriates its money.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Monday's open line

    • I personally find the whole "Personhood for fetuses" absolutely absurd. How stupid to insert it…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Vox pop: Mixed response to Capitol monument proposals

    • Here is a good news for those interested. There is away you can earn money…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Protest set on tax legislation

    • I am sorry about the debit to your grandchildren Razor, but if the GOP majority…

    • on November 20, 2017



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation