Property rights dispute leads to Oklahoma Senate bill

Energy companies are pushing legislation that would allow them to continue securing temporary permits to access the right-of-way along public roads.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: March 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm •  Published: March 10, 2014

He said SB 1812 would leave landowners out of that process.

“They need to give their consent,” he said.

McMurphy acknowledged he is largely “standing alone” in opposing the bill, which is supported by the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association and energy companies like Continental Resources Inc.

Jeff Wilson, the association’s vice president of governmental affairs, said issuing temporary permits for water lines is not a controversial practice across the state.

He said SB 1812 still requires companies to apply for permits and clean up the property when they’re done.

“From our end, it’s a no brainer,” Wilson said.

Thursday deadline

The bill is awaiting action on the Senate floor. That must come by Thursday if it is to be considered by the House this year.

The Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma has not taken a position on the bill.

Executive Director Gayle Ward said some counties have had problems with water lines causing safety hazards for residents, but the law is not clear on how to handle temporary obstruction of the right of way.

She said SB 1812 would clarify legislative intent on the issue, if it is passed.

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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