After seven years of inaction, private land and mineral owners adjacent to Wayne National Forest parcels have had enough of the bureaucratic red tape tying up oil and gas permits. As a result, several of them took their case to Washington, D.C.
Representatives from the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) and the Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration (LEASE) met with Sen. Sherrod Brown, Sen. Rob Portman, Congressman Bill Johnson, Congressman Bob Gibbs, the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of the Secretary, and the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Energy and Mineral Resources, among others.
Landowners are demanding the Bureau of Land Management Eastern States Field Office comply with multiple executive orders and permanent instructions directly from Secretary Zinke to move federal leasing and permitting forward and stop ongoing obstruction by federal bureaucrats, which amounts to a de-facto moratorium on the development of private minerals.
“The Wayne National Forest mineral development debate has been and continues to be a private property rights issue. The majority of the surface and minerals are privately owned,” said Becky Clutter, a volunteer board member of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) Appalachia Chapter and also the founder of the Landowners for Energy Access and Safe Exploration (LEASE). “Federal bureaucrats are violating mineral owner’s private property rights—it’s been going on too long and property owners want to see this resolved. Individuals who work in these federal agencies have been instructed by recent actions taken by President Trump and Secretary Zinke to move these lease sales and permits along, but they aren’t doing it. It’s more than dereliction of duty, its obstructionism—and private property owners are fed up.”Click here to continue reading.
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