House panel approves bill to protect mineral rights from cities and counties

A bill aimed at protecting mineral owners in Oklahoma from interference of their use of the minerals by towns and cities won overwhelming approval Tuesday in a State House committee.

House Bill 2150 by Rep. John Pfeiffer won approval on a vote of 14 to 5 on the House Energy and Natural Resources committee. All 5 no votes came from Democrats—Reps Merleyn Bell, Emily Virgin, Jason Dunnington, Jason Lowe and Monroe Nichols.

The bill would ban any municipality, county or political subdivision from adopting an ordinance that would interfere with the “use and enjoyment of the mineral estate.” It would also ban such towns and counties from “imposing or enforcing a limitation that adversely impacts the use and development of minerals.”

The bill was sent to the full House for a vote and won immediate support from OIPA-OKOGA where President Chad Warmington applauded the approval.

“We applaud the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee for moving legislation to the floor that protects Oklahomans’ property rights while affirming the state’s almost exclusive authority to regulate oil and natural gas development. A patchwork of overly broad, unnecessary local regulations creates confusion, thwarts innovative solutions, threatens environmental protections and encroaches on the right of private property owners to fully realize the value of their minerals. We encourage the legislature to pass and send to Gov. Stitt’s desk this commonsense legislation that protects Oklahomans private property rights.”