Patrick Siler

Document Type




In the interest of maximizing the efficacy of the law’s stated policy objectives—a greater recovery of gas, protection of the correlative rights of property owners, and the full protection of the rights of all persons, including producers and the general public—and minimizing the need for court action in addressing potential conflicts, this Note concludes by recommending the following discrete amendments to the current regulatory framework. First, the legislature should adopt a more comprehensive definition of waste that includes environmental waste and disposal. Second, legislators must reconcile the conflict between landowners’ rights and the practice of compulsory integration in one of two ways: either by recognizing that the rights of landowners are subservient to the state’s interest in facilitating the recovery of gas, or by preserving the right of landowners to keep their land free from industrial drilling and ending the practice of compulsory integration. Third, legislators should define the rights of operators on land compulsorily integrated under the present system. Finally, recognizing that the municipality is the political entity most receptive to the will of the public at the local community level, the power of local governments to determine what procedures may be imposed on industry to safeguard their local resources must be made clear. The state legislature should define the term “regulation” in Article 23’s supersession clause to specify how much control local governments may exercise over the location of drilling and the traffic to drilling sites.



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