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I love doing random searches.  They reveal such interesting stuff.  For example, in checking what our U.S. Air Force is up to, I found a report that maybe the cybercommand being located at Barksdale AF base isn't quite so important after all, because of the discovery of a large volume of natural gas in something known as the Haynesville Shale.
The Bayou Buzz reports:

Money is flooding into the Northwest Louisiana region for the leasing and development of what may well be the fourth largest natural gas deposit on earth, the Haynesville Shale formation.
....
The impact on state and local governments is already significant and may soon be immense.
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An example of the impact on local governments can be seen from a resolution recently passed by the City Council of Bossier City. The resolution stipulates that the municipality will not accept less than $27,500 per acre for leasing its land for exploration and it must retain 25 percent of the gas produced. If all 3,300 acres of its available land were leased at its demand price, it would add $90 million to the coffers of the city—not counting any severance tax money it would receive.
...

Looks like some of our public servants have finally figured out that the transfer of public assets into private wealth has to be monitored and controlled--and the public deserves a significant cut.

A cut of the profits, instead of a cut in taxes.  That's the ticket.

For news about new millionaires and much more go to the ShaleBlog.

The initial Chesapeak Energy report has a bit of a gold-rush attitude, but gives you an idea of how and when the gas development got started.  And it covers four states.

Some people have concerns.

Recently, back in the area where I'm from, there has been much ado frenzy about a discovery that has the potential to transform my "home" radically: the Haynesville Shale. Although the area has been mapped by the government years ago and the actual resource discovery known for over 80 years, the possible impact of the Haynesville Shale has become greater than anyone previously suspected. The Haynesville Shale, in layman terms, is a deposit area of natural gas. It is possibly the largest deposit of natural gas in the country and the 4th largest in the world.
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What's the relevance to Black folks and reparations? Earlier in a previous post, I stated how First Nations people were able to parley their resources for an economic windfall, converting "raw" resources to tangible economic enterprises and endeavors such casinos, telecom companies, international contracting projects and so on. Well, many Black people own a fairly significant share of the acreage in this natural gas play. My fam has about 200+ acres. When interest first came to this area back in February, the average cost of leasing an acre for natural gas expulsion was about $200-$500 an acre. This figure has increased exponentially in a course 6 months to an average of about $15,000-20,000 an acre, with some isolated reports of in excess of $25,000 an acre. The royalty percentage is currently set about 25-28% over the life of a three year lease. A friend of mine and conscious mentor was recently offered $17,000 an acre lease bonus and 25% royalty. He declined when he discovered his white neighborhood were offered over $20 Gs.

This discovery has made some people and families instant multimillionaires overnight. At the going rate, my family alone is stand to receive $3 mil just off the lease bonus. One of the issues facing many local Black landowners is the lack of information of what they can lease their land for so many are getting robbed or are signing for paltry amounts less than $10,000 an acre. Another problem is shabby startup companies are approaching Black landowners with a relatively low offer and a contract designed not to lease, but outright purchase their mineral rights and land. These companies, then, in turn lease the rights to the major players at a much higher going rate and exaggerated profit margin. A few conscious minded people from back home are banding together to create a coalition to ensure ecological integrity and negotiate the best deal for their acres. I'm watching with baited breathe and hoping that we can parlay this opportunity into an actual blessing for those involved and a benefit to the Black community overall.

Meanwhile, there's a hot water story that doesn't involve John McCain and babies.

U.S. geothermal lease sale raises record $28.2 mln
Fri Aug 8, 2008 7:56pm BST

By Jasmin Melvin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Interior Department said Friday it raised a record $28.2 million this week from leasing federal lands to companies for developing geothermal energy resources.

Geothermal energy, harnessed from steam and hot water beneath the earth that powers turbines, generates 17 percent of the electricity that comes from renewable sources in the United States.

In an auction on Tuesday, the department leased 105,211 acres in Nevada for geothermal energy use. Other states with geothermal activity are Oregon, Utah, Idaho and New Mexico.

Who knows whether or not that's a good price and who knows whether or not these leases will actually be developed or, like the oil leases in coastal waters, are being bought to keep the competition out and promote a monopoly situation.

Half of the revenues will go to Nevada, while 25 percent goes to the counties where the leases are located and the remaining 25 percent goes to the Bureau of Land Management to help cover the cost of processing the leases.

Geothermal lease sales have brought in $57 million in bids for 245,695 acres leased under a competitive leasing provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. An additional 181,340 acres have been leased through 117 noncompetitive agreements through the Bureau of Land Management.

All of which suggests that the biggest impediment to alternative energy isn't the cost of development or the paucity of options.  Rather, it's the fact that alternatives are ipso facto not attractive to monopolists, whether the issue is food, mineral resources or energy.

Monopolists are a special breed.  They're people who are addicted to power and that's the addiction monopoly feeds.  It doesn't matter what the object is.  ExxonMobil wants  a monopoly in oil; Monsanto wants a monopoly in seeds; the insurance industry wants to monopolize health care; WalMart wants to monopolize retail; Lockheed wants a monopoly in planes.  When monopolists talk about competition, what they really want is a contest, with no rules and no referee, where they can win by being unfair.

Originally posted to hannah on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:27 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Actually, I was reminded of the gas (6+ / 0-)

    by the terryhallinan's hot water diary.

    Geothermal is the proper term, but hot water is more meaningful, somehow.  LOL

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 12:32:54 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for posting this, it is starting to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17

      .... make a bit more sense now what the Republicans are up to with this incessant chanting for more drilling in oil shale areas.....   it may not be the oil shale they're after....  maybe there is natural gas .... http://money.cnn.com/...

      New shale natural gas drilling may pose water risk july 28 2008

      New natural gas fields located in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere have been heralded as something of a godsend for the U.S. energy picture....
      To bring the gas to the surface, companies often have to fracture the rock, a process known as fracing (pronounced "fracking"). This is done by injecting millions of gallons of water - and lots of chemicals - into the ground.

      Last week, a report from WNYC public radio and ProPublica, an independent, non-profit newsroom, accused New York state environmental officials of glossing over the dangers of using these chemicals in the Marcellus Shale, part of which sits close to the drinking water for New York City.

      The state officials, the report said, gave the drilling a green light, even though they have no idea what chemicals are being used. That's because in 2005, Congress passed a law that made the chemicals proprietary business information, and said they do not need to be made public.

  •  Rescue Rangers... here's a gem. (0+ / 0-)

    Outstanding diary hannah... though you give us many.

    Food for thought to follow and connect some dots that I hadn't even considered.

    <div style="color: #a00000;"> Our... constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men's minds. Thurgood Marshal

    by bronte17 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 02:14:55 PM PDT

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