City should have final say on oil well

Published 12:04am Friday, January 18, 2013

Two more boards have issued two more rulings on proposed drilling at Arlington, but the next step — to city residents anyway — seems clear as, well, oil.

First, the Natchez Preservation Commission said “no.” It was the same answer they gave last year.

Then, Wednesday, the state oil and gas board said, “yes.”

But can the state board overrule the local boards? No one has definitively answered that question yet.

The city attorney contends that RMB Exploration must still receive city approval, including an OK from the Natchez Planning Commission and the aldermen.

We agree.

The state oil and gas board has no place determining what can and can’t happen inside the city limits, unless it’s somehow a matter of public safety.

And we hope the developer will continue to pursue appropriate city approvals before taking any action at the site.

At the same time, the City of Natchez needs to make clear its position on the matter.

Originally the aldermen said, “no.”

But recently, Mayor Butch Brown and the city planner voiced at least some level of support for a compromise plan.

Brown wouldn’t comment after the oil and gas board’s ruling, leaving residents, especially those in the affected area, left to worry about what will happen now.

The city should certainly be ready to stand its ground, though. Natchez residents elected the mayor and aldermen to represent their best interests, and the local leaders certainly know the community’s needs better than a board in Jackson.

  • Anonymous

    Should the mayor and/or BOA state their opinions before the various boards/commissions take their individual actions? NO. That leads to political pressure that sways the decisions of the commissions to mirror that opinion, much like a dictatorship. As we know, most of the members to those commissions are appointed by the BOA/Mayor, etc., thus likely have some allegiance to their benefactors. Your proposal is much like the judge lecturing attorneys, etc. at the outset of a trial on the judge’s opinion of the expected outcome……….If your procedure is adopted, we need to do away with the commissions altogether, they are wasting development time for this city.

  • khakirat

    Problem is the city goverments are enjoying the sweet cream of the money from these oilwells that pays on their salaries don’t want to ruin a good thing this money raining in that should be put away and saved!! These folks sure need to start thinking differently so we can get the young folks into Natchez with good paying jobs with benefits with a long future to the community with a good quality of life in Adams county for a change of thinking!! Lets get er drilled and make some good oil sands and gas Mike!! GOOD LUCK MIKE!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    The current codes say NO DRILLING IN A NEIGHBORHOOD! NO DRILLING ON HISTORIC PROPERTIES. So why cant people get that into their “get er done” heads!!!! Mineral rights or not…local ordinances and codes are fineable offenses. Has Mr. Biglane paid his fine for drilling without proper permits, for drilling without permission from ANY governing boards, for drilling in a residential neighborhood, and additionally on a historical property? Or does that fall into the “get er done” category?! Codes and laws are written for a reason…so property and people are protected..and city leaders are voted in to be the voice of those laws and to SERVE and PROTECT its citizens…not roll over and play dead because the pressure is mounting. Mr. Biglane wants to rob Natchez of her jewels at whatever cost necessary for he and his investors gain, even if that means distroying a way of life, a community, a neighborhood…. If the City cannot enforce its own codes/laws, then the Supreme Court should!

  • khakirat

    The mineral owners have laws and rights as well as you and are to be respected as well as the supreme court will tell you!! As far as destroying a way of life, community, an neighborhood you are all wrong for if these wells make good it will make the economy better that sure needs a big shot in the arm in Adams county!! I have lived in Adams county over 65 years and things are worse now so maybe if we destroyed a way of life as you put it maybe thats the recipe to get things of a better quality of life of good paying jobs and commerce to get our young people back huh’??!! By the way the Oil and gas work under the laws and regulations of the state of Ms. don’t you know??!!

  • Anonymous

    The fines were put in the same ledger with the fines against Dr. Vaughn. That ledger is gathering dust on the shelf and Dr. Vaughn isn’t even talking!

  • Anonymous