Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trapanare (Drilling) Santa Fe: Traitorous Libretto

"Coal-bed methane extraction sure does make a beautiful backdrop for an opera."

Santa Fe Reporter

Zane's World

By: Zane Fischer 09/30/2009

"Think you own your property? Think again. The tricky “split estate” law has been screwing New Mexico and the rest of the West since its inception. The purchase of land that includes water and mineral rights is rare indeed in these parts—usually those rights have been sold off long before the present-day owners bought their so-called property.

Most people don’t realize they only own the surface of their land; what lurks beneath is the property of others to do with as they please.

A split estate is the legal—oh how should we put it?—or bullshit term for delineating land divided between a surface estate and a mineral estate. And, yeah, that’s most land in New Mexico.

The kicker? Mineral estates generally take legal precedence over surface estates. In other words, let’s say you own a couple of acres: You worked your ass off to buy the plot and, luckily, you’re still able to work your ass off to keep up with the mortgage. It’s a bitch, but at least you’re building equity and you know the ground you sleep on is home to you and yours, and no one can take that away from you as long as you hold up your end of the bargain.

Unless, of course, the owner of the mineral rights decides to roll up and start extracting helium or coal-bed methane or any number of other bits of nasty, polluting, water-table-depleting sorts of stuff in the ground that might be traded for cold, hard cash. The actual ground can’t be taken from you, but the earth below can be pillaged, and the equipment required for the rape can be erected outside your front door.

To put a finer point on this, take the case of the Santa Fe Opera (as first reported Sept. 24 by SFR on, with several updates since)." More>>>>

See posts:

Santa Fe Opera Leases Land For Oil & Gas Exploration

Santa Fe Opera leasing minerals for oil and gas exploration?

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