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house Bill H.R. 2316

Should Congress Revise Mineral Rights Laws for the Allegheny National Forest to Comply With Court Rulings?

Argument in favor

Courts have ruled that the Forest Service doesn’t have the authority to regulate oil and gas development on portions of the Allegheny National Forest where mineral rights are privately-held, and Congress should revise the law to reflect that.

operaman's Opinion
···
10/01/2017
Even after the court ruled in favor of private mineral rights, I am reminded that the Federal Government wants to control water above and below ground, air (though it moves about), natural erosion, oceans, food production and inspection, starting forests fires for protection of the environment and preventing forest fires to save the environment. So, “This bill would clarify the Forest Service’s role under the rulings and reaffirm the legal supremacy of privately-held mineral rights.” If we just follow the Constitution, there would be no confusion between private and government lands. Do I remember correctly that the Federal Government only owned a small portion of land in Maryland? And is it true that under Communism All lands are state owned? Humm!
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wpeckham's Opinion
···
10/01/2017
There should not BE privately help mineral rights under a national forest, but where there are the government MUST comply with the law as interpreted by the courts.
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John's Opinion
···
10/01/2017
I'm not a huge believer in the private use of public lands but if someone has the right to do it then it should be allowed unless its a safety concern or about national security. We cannot continue to allow our government to have power over everything. Those conditions normally result in rampant facism or communism.
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Argument opposed

Despite the rulings of a district court and appeals court, the Forest Service should have the authority to regulate oil and gas development on portions of the Allegheny National Forest where mineral rights are privately-held.

I.Got.an.Idea...'s Opinion
···
10/01/2017
Corporations should not have priority or more rights than wildlife and the environment. Natural resources should be treated like natural water bodies. They belong to the people of the planet, not unethical private interests. George W Bush family already owns millions of acres of land around the largest fresh water aquifer in the world, located in Brazil. As the world's fresh water supply becomes depleted, the Bush family will own the rights to most of the potable water on the planet; Blue Gold. These kinds of unethical and immoral behaviors will be the demise of billions of people in the world and all for profits and unchecked greed.
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Joanne's Opinion
···
10/01/2017
Absolutely NOT. Again and again it's money vs. environment. These people have enough money, there is not enough beautiful land and wildlife, once it's gone we can't get it back. Let them go make money another way.
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Tobias's Opinion
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10/01/2017
This is public property and protected and should not be exploited for gain.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • The house Passed October 2nd, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Natural Resources
      Energy and Mineral Resources
    IntroducedMay 3rd, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2316?

This bill would repeal requirements regarding the development of privately-owned oil and gas deposits on certain lands within the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. In 2007, the Forest Service imposed a moratorium on granting a “Notice to Proceed” to owners of mineral rights who submitted 60-day notices to drilling plans, declaring a moratorium while an environmental review could be carried out. A federal district court ruled against the Forest Service in 2009 and again on appeal in 2013, rejecting the Forest Service’s authority to restrict drilling. This bill would clarify the Forest Service’s role under the rulings and reaffirm the legal supremacy of privately-held mineral rights.

This bill would also repeal a provision of current law that allows the Forest Service to sell any timber removed to make way for oil and gas development directly to the company developing the resources.

Impact

Owners of mineral rights in the Allegheny National Forest that wish to develop oil and gas resources; and the Forest Service.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2316

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have a negligible impact on the federal government.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA) introduced this bill to protect the rights of private mineral owners in the Allegheny National Forest following court rulings that blocked the Forest Service from regulating their development:

“This legislation reaffirms nearly a century of cooperation between the owners of private mineral rights in northwestern Pennsylvania and the federal government. Despite repeated attempts by extreme environmental groups to shut down energy production in the Allegheny National Forest, the legislation will provide certainty and protect the jobs and communities that rely on the Forest’s resources.”

This legislation was passed by the House Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent and has the support of one cosponsor, Rep. Al Green (D-TX). This bill’s predecessor from the last Congress passed the House on a 395-3 vote, but stalled in the Senate.


Of Note: The Allegheny National Forest covers more than 500,000 acres in northwestern Pennsylvania.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Nicholas Tonelli via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Mineral Leasing Act and the Energy Policy Act of 1992 to repeal provisions relating only to the Allegheny National Forest.

    Even after the court ruled in favor of private mineral rights, I am reminded that the Federal Government wants to control water above and below ground, air (though it moves about), natural erosion, oceans, food production and inspection, starting forests fires for protection of the environment and preventing forest fires to save the environment. So, “This bill would clarify the Forest Service’s role under the rulings and reaffirm the legal supremacy of privately-held mineral rights.” If we just follow the Constitution, there would be no confusion between private and government lands. Do I remember correctly that the Federal Government only owned a small portion of land in Maryland? And is it true that under Communism All lands are state owned? Humm!
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    Corporations should not have priority or more rights than wildlife and the environment. Natural resources should be treated like natural water bodies. They belong to the people of the planet, not unethical private interests. George W Bush family already owns millions of acres of land around the largest fresh water aquifer in the world, located in Brazil. As the world's fresh water supply becomes depleted, the Bush family will own the rights to most of the potable water on the planet; Blue Gold. These kinds of unethical and immoral behaviors will be the demise of billions of people in the world and all for profits and unchecked greed.
    Like (208)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely NOT. Again and again it's money vs. environment. These people have enough money, there is not enough beautiful land and wildlife, once it's gone we can't get it back. Let them go make money another way.
    Like (89)
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    Share
    This is public property and protected and should not be exploited for gain.
    Like (72)
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    Also, please begin impeachment proceedings against this president.
    Like (50)
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    If the conservatives really want to put America first they should protect the air, water, and land. It is the very definition of conservative to maintain and protect. Of course I know that all they want to conserve is money and power and their ability to enslave/entrap other humans.
    Like (45)
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    Private rights should never be the the "driving force" for use of public lands!
    Like (29)
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    Enough is enough. We must stop pillaging the land to poison the sky.
    Like (28)
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    Revise the rights for whom? What evidence is there to support that congress even understands the concept of human rights or humanitarian policies, let alone animal rights or the need for clean water/air🔑? No, thank you. 🖌Clean up your current mess before making any new ones. EPA is the very definition of intolerance and fake news.
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    Government owned lands should be maintained for future generations. To remove dead and dying vegetation to prevent fires should be allowed. To dig into a hillside for no other reason than profit, should not...(no more private jet rentals and leave Air Force 1 in the hanger for a change reality star)
    Like (18)
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    There should not BE privately help mineral rights under a national forest, but where there are the government MUST comply with the law as interpreted by the courts.
    Like (16)
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    It's not even primarily about "rising above money and greed" to protect our unique planet. The fact is that deriving energy from fossil fuels is an OBSOLETE technology. It is more expensive than solar, wind, and geothermal, so it is absurd for anybody to be wrangling in the courts for the "rights" to pursue this polluting, pointless energy source. There is more money to be made exploring & developing clean new technology, and more jobs to be found teaching, learning, training, exploring & applying the clean, cheaper new technologies. Wake up & stop living in the past, Congress!!
    Like (16)
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    I'm not a huge believer in the private use of public lands but if someone has the right to do it then it should be allowed unless its a safety concern or about national security. We cannot continue to allow our government to have power over everything. Those conditions normally result in rampant facism or communism.
    Like (16)
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    We need to realize that Earth is the only home we have that can support life. If we continue to destroy it we are destroying any chances we have Of Earth being able to continue to sustain life. We ave got to rise above money.
    Like (15)
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    National forests belong to the people and should be protected as such. No private entity should have the right to profit from public lands. Additionally, these lands need to be protected more than ever against corporate interests.
    Like (15)
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    Please protect our national beauty. No to drilling or mining for mineral deposits on national land.
    Like (14)
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    As an American citizen, those public lands belong to me and I don't want them used for private gain.
    Like (11)
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    These should remain protected areas! Un-touched
    Like (11)
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    Oil and natural gas are the lifeblood of America power production and transportation. If you want to know what it’s like to be without power and access to gasoline just ask those impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Cheap and reliable power for our hospitals, homes and automobiles are provided by oil and natural gas.
    Like (11)
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    Leave theNational Parks alone. We need to protect our nation's green spaces!
    Like (10)
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