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MESSAGE TO THE STATE 3-21-12 LMS

The Salmon City Council voted to send an official Resolution of Opposition to the governor and to the legislators that passed House Bill 464.

The legislation, which that evening sat unsigned on Governor “Butch” Otter’s desk, gives the state the final say in approving the drilling for oil, gas or other resources.

Councilman Fred Waidely said the legislation awards the state the power to override all local planning and zoning laws which, he said, denies citizens the right of legal due process.

Prior to voting on the resolution Waidely told the March 21 meeting of the council that even though a person may own the property, in the vast majority of instances the state owns the mineral rights under that property. He said that without the power of local community planning and zoning rules, an oil or gas company could drill anywhere including on privately owned property.

Waidely added he is not in any way against drilling for gas and oil and all the economic benefits that can produce. What he is against is the state taking away the public’s right to have a say in where and how the drilling should take place.

Councilman Jim Kluesner said House Bill 464 sets a precedent that could impact this community if someone someday decided to develop the natural gas or geothermal resources known to exist in this area.

On Wednesday evening, March 21, the council unanimously passed the Resolution of Opposition to House Bill 464 and it was to be sent to the governor and the legislature.


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