Subscribe for 33¢ / day

To call Marvin Nelson and Paul Sorum’s lawsuit to stop SB2134 and steal private property disgusting would be an understatement.

The mineral rights in question are private property. They have been owned by individuals and families for decades. A lot of these minerals are located under what was originally farm and ranch land until the federal government came in and essentially stole the surface from the owners so they could flood the land with the creation of Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea. Most of the former surface owners were allowed to keep the mineral rights under their lost surface acres.

The state of North Dakota has asserted no claim to these minerals for the decades following the taking of the surface by the federal government. Fast forward to the Bakken boom and these minerals are worth significantly more than they were in the past. Now what do you see? A disgusting attempt by Nelson and Sorum to exert the government in the stealing of private property to use as a new source of government revenue. It doesn't matter to them that these mineral rights have been privately owned for decades.

Any politician that views government-sanctioned theft from private property owners as a source of revenue has no business representing the people of North Dakota. If these politicians are so keen to have private property given to the state, they ought to set an example by donating their own homes and land first.

John Schneider, Bismarck