Huge gas deposit found in Louisiana

NY Times:

They had to repeat the amazing number, $28.7 million, over and over, to make sure it was real and would not go away. Even then, the members of the De Soto Parish Police Jury — the county commission — could hardly believe it.

They laughed, rocked back in their chairs, shook their heads, stared at the ceiling and muttered oaths to each other. “We have — $28.7 million,” said the president, Bryant Yopp, to settle the matter, definitively if still incredulously. It was nearly one and a half times the parish’s entire annual budget.

A no-holds-barred, all-American gold rush for natural gas is under way in this forgotten corner of the South, and De Soto Parish, with its fat check from a large energy company this month, is only the latest and largest beneficiary. The county leaders and everyone around them, for mile after mile, over to Texas and up to Arkansas, in the down-at-heels city of Shreveport and in its struggling neighbors, suddenly find themselves sitting on what could prove to be the largest natural gas deposit in the continental United States.

Already, several dozen people who own parcels of land over the field are becoming instant millionaires as energy companies pay big money for the mineral rights to the gas, which like other energy sources is worth far more than it was last year. Jalopies are being traded in for Cadillacs, plans for swimming pools are being hatched in rusty trailers, and the old courthouse here is packed to the rafters day after day with oil company “landmen” (and -women), whose job it is to frantically search the record books for the owners of the mineral rights to land that has become like gold.

In the space of months, the price of such rights on an acre has shot up to $30,000 from a few hundred dollars and is still climbing. Some very modest people, in a place where the Tough Steak Meat Market sits near the Triple J Motors car lot and the courthouse square is half boarded up, are becoming very wealthy, very quickly.

“These people are not college graduates,” said Reggie Roe, a parish official who has 987 acres and is looking at considerable enrichment himself. “Now they’re walking in with $2, 3 million. They don’t know what to do with it.

“What are these people going to do with all this money?”

So far, relative restraint — or perhaps bewilderment — reigns.

...

Imagine all the mineral wealth the Democrats are preventing us from accessing. It is probably enough that the royalties would pay on the national debt and make social security solvent, yet Democrats say no. There is something really wrong with the Democrat party energy policy and the burden is shifting to Democrats to prove their own sanity.

I am glad to hear of the good fortune of the folks in Louisiana. They need some these days.

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