For those of us in Texas, this one hits closely to home. As technology improves and natural gas plays across the country become even more of a stronghold of the American economy, it’s a topic that every city and state ought to begin seriously considering. Should the natural gas royalties be earmarked to return to the land from which it was generated? Is this really a practical and/or wise legislative necessity?
This article on Yahoo cites the example of Beaumont, Texas, and the $35.3 million profits that have been generated near the airport by natural gas royalties. Beaumont, a city of about 110,000, with a tiny airport, couldn’t use $35.3 million on their airport land even if they tore it down and rebuilt the whole thing. But because of federal regulations, that money must be reinvested into that piece of property. So, in short, $35.3 million is sitting just out of reach for a town like other American towns that could use it to compensate for other budget deficits.
With the American economy in such a fragile state and every arm of budgeting being so crucial, is it really wise to create these boundaries of red tape that, when examined, may not actually be useful? Isn’t this one of the times that it would make the most sense to re-examine our national priorities?