Harold Roeder, a candidate for the Delaware Town Board, recently said, “The overwhelming thing is the individual’s right to their property; it doesn’t matter pro or con.” Pro or con! We should ask this champion of property rights how he feels about Compulsory Integration. Compulsory integration is a provision in NYS Environmental Conservation Law (ECL Article 23) that the gas lobbyists got passed; it says that if a gas company claims (no evidence required) that 60% of a designated 640 acres is leased, the other 40% can have the gas taken from under their property (no matter how their owners feel about it.)
It’s true that if you are “integrated” you can be paid—at the lowest percentage allowed by law; there are two other choices, the first, going into partnership with the driller by sharing upfront costs and the other getting paid at a high rate, but only after the driller recovers three times his costs. Those are the only choices; you can’t choose not to be “integrated.” You can’t choose not have toxic chemicals forced—under great pressure—under your water well.
So, if this candidate believes that property rights are absolute, why has he not spoken out against compulsory integration? If you aren’t signing a lease and your neighbors are trying to strike it rich, don’t you have property rights too?