COMMENTARY: Admission – “I don’t want them drilling on my property”

Who owns what if you did not pay for it?

One of the little discussed provisions of Measure J is that it bans all oil and gas operations, even non-fracking, on certain properties.
During Tuesday's discussion at the Board of Supervisors, there was a refreshing admission from one of the primary Measure J supporters, who said she wanted to prevent the oil industry from drilling on “her property” and a friend wants to prevent the oil industry from drilling on “his property.”

But is it really her or his property or are they trying to get the county residents take someone else's property? The speaker said she bought the property and loves it, but she did not purchase the mineral rights which belong to someone else. Now she is worried that they will come and drill on “her property.”

If she wanted to prevent that why didn’t she buy the mineral rights, too?  If they were not for sale, then she should not have purchased the property. Now she wants to use Measure J to cheat the mineral rights owners out of their property – the minerals – by preventing them from accessing them under any circumstances.

She said people who oppose Measure J are doing it to “stuff their wallets” – but if you buy something and don’t pay for the whole thing then claim it all aren’t you stuffing your wallet at someone else’s expense?

This is greed alright – greed by the property owners trying to tie up the mineral rights without paying for them. You want it, offer the owner a fair price, don’t ask the county residents to pay for your greed in million-dollar for lawsuits. Even if you have lived here for 40 years – and I'm sick of hearing that meaningless phrase – you are not entiled to steal someone else's property.

Vote NO on J and prevent confiscation and thievery.


Marty Richman

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Marty (Martin G.) spent his teen years in northern New Jersey. He served more than 22 years on active military duty, mostly in Europe, and is a retired U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4, Nuclear Weapons Technical Officer. Marty then worked 25 years in various engineering and management positions in the electronics and energetic materials industries supporting the communications, computer, aerospace, defense and automotive sectors. He is a graduate, summa cum laude, from The College of Hard Knocks, among his numerous awards and accomplishments. He was a regular weekly Op/Ed columnist and feature writer for The Hollister Free Lance for seven years and a member of its editorial board for five years. Marty is a frequent commentator and contributor to BenitoLink on a wide variety of local, state, national and international subjects.   Marty was elected to represent the City of Hollister District 4 on the City Council in November, 2018. Marty and his wife, Joyce, have been residents of Hollister since 1996.