Idaho Auctions Off the Payette River to Oil and Natural Gas Company

For only $2.35 per acre, the Idaho Department of Lands leased 1900 acres of state mineral and surface rights in Payette and Gem counties to Snake River Oil and Gas at an auction on August 3.  The transferrable, ten-year (or indefinite if productive) leases for oil and gas exploration and development cover 44 tracts of public trust lands BENEATH navigable river and lake beds along the Payette River (see the map).  The high (and only) bidder railroaded through the 2012 Idaho legislative session House Bill 464, which undermines local control of oil and gas facilities siting and ordinances, and other industry-favorable laws and state regulations.  Snake River Oil and Gas will perform seismic tests to gather data and map areas surrounding the river, but lease preconditions disallow drilling on (but not under?) the river.  Proceeds from the state’s 12 percent royalty fee on oil and natural gas production revenues could benefit Idaho’s general fund (soon ravaged by the aftermath of mine-and-run gas companies).  Peruse the following local, state, and national articles for more information:

Gem County Acres Leased for Oil and Gas Exploration

Snake River Oil and Gas Wins Oil and Gas Lease Bids from State

Idaho Oil, Gas Leases Generate Just Over $4,450

(From WIRT Newsletter)

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