Friday fracking video


Illegal landman stalking Chapel Hill

And he's peddling some really sorry leases:

Longest said the signing bonus of $5 per mineral acre is extremely low compared to other leases he has seen. He said this bonus runs more in the thousands per acre in Pennsylvania and New York.
Another common practice with mineral rights leases is speculation, Longest said. Once a mineral right owner sells the rights, the company can do anything with them.

“(A company) can come in and buy leases and sell them for $500 an acre to another company,” Longest said. “And the landowner won’t get the money.” Individuals executing these leases are called landmen, and must be registered with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), according to the Clean Energy and Economic Security Act of 2012. But the regional agent listed on the documents sent to Chapel Hill and Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, Frank Sides, is not one of the 31 registered landmen with DENR. All landmen are required by state law to be on the registry and DENR is investigating the issue, said Michele Walker, the agency’s public information officer.

Sides did not return phone calls seeking comment.

I understand DENR is responsible for registering these landmen, but the leases they're peddling are legal and binding contracts. In the time it takes for the woefully understaffed and painfully politicized DENR to investigate this issue, a lot of people could get ripped off. This is a job for the NC DOJ, and the sooner they get involved the better.