By Alvin Engelke

Rick Williams brought the message at the Burning Springs M. E. Church.

The snow melted away and spring like weather was the weekend. On Saturday clothes quickly dried on the line (being green you know using sunlight and the wind).

Bob Gertz was attending to business in Creston one day last week. He works for Ergon, a firm that purchases Pennsylvania grade crude oil locally. The firm has a refinery in the northern panhandle at Congo near Chester.

Some local folks attended a Board of Equalization & Review questioning the value the State Tax Commissioner had placed on a tract of oil & gas. The property owner showed that he had not been paid the amounts claimed by the out of state oil company but the little lawyer for the state tax department was adamant. The company said they paid you that and any problems, "you'll have to take it up with them as we go with what they say. That's the law and we follow it to the letter" well sometimes especially when it goes against the peasants who would dare question our decisions. The county commissioners, along with the assessor & his deputy were merely observers who had no real input. The court reporter was kept busy keeping track of what was said and it is not clear who pays his bill. It was noted that another company sent out letters pointing out that they had not paid the royalties attributable to them in 2014 but the taxpayers got huge tax increases. The tax dept. lawyer quickly responded, "It was in escrow, doesn't matter and the mineral owners have to pay the tax even though they didn't get any money." Of course they will be taxed again next year as the returns will show that they were paid whatever. The Board of Equalization & Review has been made into a farce at best by over eager beavers down at the Mouth of the Elk who love power and look for ways to put the shaft to the state's citizens. That is the same outfit that said not so long back that all the coal in the state should be owned by large corporations, not by individuals.

Gov. Earl Ray has said that the budget must be cut 6.5% more and now there are some articles stating what the powers that be plan to do. One should read it at least to be forewarned or else make sufficient noise now to avoid disasters later. The DPS offices in Grantsville & Elizabeth are on the chopping block once again since the biggies failed last time they tried [They got caught telling 'fibs'.]

Several loads of fine logs were hauled down the Richardsonville Road on Saturday.

Those who are impacted by the Triad Hunter, Magnum Hunter bankruptcy are reminded that paperwork is due February 24. Several other firms with operations in the area are said be in bad shape including Chesapeake Energy and Linn Energy. Range Resources sold a substantial amount of their assets to Enervest.

As part of the fundamental transformation of the nation the Big Eared One has seen to the moving of a tractor manufacturing company from Alabama to the Castro brothers' workers paradise of Cuba.

Vladimir Lenin wrote "We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth . . . We can & must write in a language which sows among the masses, hate, revulsion and scorn toward those who disagree with us." Such is still the case now as amplified by Saul Alinsky & his followers. When folks stand for basic Christian values see what happens to them or watch when someone questions the background, history or real religion of the Big Eared One or questions the so called 'global warming'.

EQT has permitted a new injection well near Oxford in the Geneseo shale formation, also known as the Burkett which is on top of the Marcellus shale.

Questions have been raised about Antero's proposed landfill for salt in Doddridge County. Salt is a valuable commodity and most would assume that it would be sold and royalties paid on it. The firm was mum about what was to happen to the "radioactive sludge" and some feel that the state, which has no one who knows the first thing about such matters is going to get stuck in a few years with a major liability landfill that likely will be contaminated. It could be that this "wonderful boon to the economy" could make the Freedom tank spill look like a Sunday school picnic.

Antero also made the news when they sued some folks in Doddridge County to take their minerals away from them. The Company purchased 1.6% and they want it all. Corey Palumbo, a Kanawha County politician who "is for the people" is bringing the suit for the out of state firm.

The talk in the legislature had been about SB 508 which would make it almost impossible to sue anyone for creating a nuisance such as covering your home with dust, fumes, noise, light at night, etc. Suh would also cover the fouling of water wells, springs, etc. The general feel that the push for the bill would help the out of state drillers so they "wouldn't have to make nice" to get along. They could act like Mother Hope & others did a century ago.

On Saturday, February 20 at 8 A. M. the Energy Committee met under the golden dome and Chairman Woody introduced HB 4639 since George Patterson's forced pooling bill had hit several stumbling blocks and appeared to be dead in the water, much to the chairman's chagrin. This new bill is very short and says that if 50.1% of owners sign a lease the company can drill and the remaining owners cannot sue the company for anything and if the "minority" wants any money they must sue the ones that signed the lease & maybe get it from them. This is said to set aside a lawsuit styled Law vs. Heck Oil Co. which must have been a trespass case. Most have described this bill as outright theft by the legislators against the citizens & taxpayers of the state. After about 10 minutes of discussion the bill was passed out of the committee and sent to the floor for "special calendar". Folks need to contact their favorite legislators and ask that the bill be killed or otherwise that all who support and vote for such legal theft be retired either in the primary or the general election, regardless of party affiliation. It was noted that certain "legislative leaders" refuse to talk some who helped put them there. That matter, of course, can be fixed. Some excellent examples are now playing out on the national stage with the national Republican rulers now in a panic.

The price of local Pennsylvania grade crude dropped back to $28.64/bbl. with condensate fetching only $9.64/bbl., Marcellus & Utica light $22.64 & medium $28.64/bbl.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Hur Herald.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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