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Greeley Colorado Reverses Decision on Drilling

by Elizabeth Alford on March 9, 2016

One Colorado town says yes to oil and gas drilling and affirms private property rights.

Related: More Support for Ohio Mineral Owners

All across the country mineral owners are fighting for their rights as more and more local communities call for tighter restrictions on oil and gas activity.

The latest example is currently playing out in the town of Greeley, Colorado where the city’s planning commission had previously denied drilling permits for 22 wells that were close to neighborhoods. On Wednesday, the City Council overturned the earlier decision after hearing six hours of testimony and public comment during a meeting attended by hundreds of people on each side of the energy debate.

The commission had initially declined the drilling project based on public concerns such as the impact on air quality, excessive truck traffic and the proximity to schools in the area. But ultimately, the council voted in favor of an estimated 1,800 mineral rights owners to be able to develop their assets as they choose.

“We have to protect the private property rights of many citizens of Greeley who have mineral rights and have the right to access them,” Mayor Tom Norton said.

In addition to these local battles, mineral owners are also seeing reduced checks due to the oil and gas downturn. As oil prices have plummeted over the last 18 month, royalty revenue has plummeted up to 70 percent in some cases, according to the National Association of Royalty Owners.

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