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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

'When Frackers Come Calling': Homeowners Increasingly Duped in Land Deals

A recent report by Environment America showed that the fracking boom has created a previously 'unimaginable' situation in which hundreds of billions of gallons of the nation's fresh water supply are being annually transformed into unusable—sometimes radioactive*—cancer-causing wastewater.

"Thousands of homeowners in the U.S. are finding out the hard way that so-called "mineral rights" for fossil fuel deposits that may exist beneath their newly purchased property have already secretly been sold to gas and drilling companies, effectively nullifying their ability to object to fracking or other extraction projects that could have serious health impacts on them or their families. According to a new Reuters special report published Wednesday:
In golf clubs, gated communities and other housing developments across the United States, tens of thousands of families...have in recent years moved into new homes where their developers or home-builders, with little or no prior disclosure, kept all the underlying mineral rights for themselves, a Reuters review of county property records in 25 states shows. In dozens of cases, the buyers were in the dark.
According to the report—which cites the current nationwide oil and gas fracking boom—home builders and developers have found it increasingly lucrative to separate and withhold mineral rights from land deals, often without full disclosure, and instead sell those rights to fossil fuel companies."

*Radioactive water in PA article: