About Mineral Ownership
“You can pass any law or regulation you want, but you have to be able to afford it”
Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners' represents the interests of over 600,000 mineral owners across the state of Colorado. The organization encourages and promotes exploration and production of minerals throughout the state. CAMRO works to preserve, protect, and advance the interests and rights of mineral and royalty owners through education, advocacy and assistance to its members.
Colorado Mineral Owners Cheer US Supreme Court Decision
Denver, Colorado – The Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners applauded the US Supreme Court’s Friday decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, where the court sided with the property owner, giving greater flexibility to sue an overreaching government for takings. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the majority opinion for a strongly divided court in the 5-4 decision. Previous to this ruling, the ability for the private landowner to take a case to federal court has been prohibited, while a state or local government has had the ability to have a case heard there. “Friday’s ruling levels the playing field, and should give pause to any local government who
would try to overreach in taking the private property of her citizens without a plan to provide just compensation. A more impartial federal court is most certainly going to give a mineral or royalty owner a fairer shake, particularly here in Colorado, where government overreach has become the norm in recent years,” stated Neil Ray, CAMRO President. CAMRO’s regulatory attorney Cindy Bargell added, “The impact of the Knick case on Constitutional takings claims will be thoroughly analyzed, although it signals the Supreme Court’s willingness to reconsider precedent by lifting the historic limitation on venue that effectively created a catch-22 for private property owners’ takings claims. While questions still remain regarding what constitutes a taking, where the action can be brought has opened new doors and new possibilities for private property owners.” Read more about Knick v. Township of Scott here: SCOTUS Blog AP News Fox News NPR
Here are the closing remarks from Colorado Speaker of the House KC Becker at the House Energy and Environment committee hearing on March, 18th.
She claims that she is representing the peoples demands by pushing this bill through. But the local Colorado communities represented by Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners have made it very clear that SB 181 does not work for them! They have made it clear through testimonies, and rallies at the Capital that this bill is harmful to their way of life in this beautiful state, and that they want it to be stopped!
Click on the link below to listen to Speaker Becker’s full closing statement.
Colorado Senate March 12, 2019
CAMRO Cannot Support SB19-181 and urges a no vote
The Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners counts itself among the many affected and interested parties that were not included in the drafting of such an overreaching bill. While aspects of this bill rightly are purposed to protect Colorado’s citizens from certain adverse affects that are associated with oil and gas development, most of the bill will have the opposite effect.
In the media rollout of this bill, starting after the 2018 election where proposition 112 was soundly defeated, and new leadership was elected in the house, senate, and governors office ,its proponents and supporters flatly stated that the state had no interest in establishing statewide setback standards. However, this bill gives local government authority over siting oil and gas locations, and allows local standards to exceed the State setback requirements. This shift from the will of the voters is both significant and deceptive. Extreme and unnecessary setback standards will be set, depriving mineral owners of their property. This will certainly lead to takings lawsuits that tie up resources and could bankrupt local government. The Act has evolved over time so the Commission can act to protect public health safety welfare and the environment along with mineral owners, royalty owners, and reasonable citizens from the capricious actions of local governments.
In undermining the imperative to minimize waste, and refusing to consider concepts of economic and technical feasibility in the development of the resource, the bill eviscerates critical concepts of oil and gas conservation relegating them to the dust bin. This feature undermines the value of private property and the market that supports it.
In its current configuration the Oil and Gas Commission has a diversity of expertise that is the envy of the nation. The three industry positions serve to inform fellow commissioners on the science of petroleum engineering and geology, and truly examining production practices. In the proposed reconfiguration the commission will be unable to perform many of the duties concerning correlative rights, payment of proceeds, legal analysis, and many more duties. If this bill is passed, the expertise critical to protect all the communities that do not have engineers and geologists on staff, but believe responsible development benefits their communities and our Nation will be lost, taking a back-seat to those communities that only care about stopping development in their back-yard.
Particularly concerning to CAMRO is the change in pooling. While CAMRO believes raising the statutory royalty rate is timely, CAMRO vigorously opposes setting any minimum threshold of participation in a pool, or the requirement that a local government be involved in the pooling process.
Specifically, establishing a majority threshold undermines correlative right, and will lead to coercive behavior between neighboring tract owners, and by local government toward its citizens and mineral owners. This is vicious policy, and delegates the state’s police power to its citizens and local government. The mineral owner will have been stripped of the value of his minerals at the whim of special interest.
Sadly, the bill also reflects a significant step backward in terms of environmental justice. Ensuring some communities can prevent lawful and responsible oil and gas production with some expectation their rural neighbors, or perhaps other states, can figure out a way to produce the oil and gas they need, and that our Nation requires to continue to function. This reflects a sad and shortsighted view that is not characteristic of all Coloradans and is 100% objectionable to the CAMRO membership.
Neil Ray, President Colorado Association of Mineral and Royalty Owners
January 7, 2020 - Despite Prop 112’s Loss, Colorado’s Fracking Foes Are Back With 6 New Ballot Measures
"This is déjà vu all over again. Last election, Coloradans decisively defeated an energy industry ban that would have shredded private property rights and put working families on the unemployment line. Now, keep-it-in-the ground activists are back, pushing the same extreme measure and a few ‘112 lites."
The Colorado Gazette - Colorado voters say resounding "no" to drilling setback and Proposition 112
November 7, 2018 - “We’re incredibly grateful that Colorado voted against Proposition 112 tonight, said Neil Ray of the Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners. “Beyond the devastating economic impact, Proposition 112 would have stripped mineral owners of their property rights by placing large swaths of the state off limits for mineral development.
10/17/18 PRESS RELEASE: Economic Impact of Proposition 112’s Passage Estimated at $470 Billion, According to PetroValues Study
Denver, Colorado – If Proposition 112 – an effective ban on mineral development in Colorado – passes this November, PetroValues estimates that the long-term economic loss across Colorado from the passage would be $470 billion. PetroValues calculated the loss over the time period that it would take to develop known resources of hydrocarbons, instead of the next few years as other studies have done.READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE
8/29/18 PRESS RELEASE: Colorado Mineral Owners React to Initiative 97 Approval for Ballot
Denver, Colorado – The Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners was extremely disappointed to hear that Initiative 97 – an effective ban on mineral development in Colorado -made the ballot with 172,834 signatures this afternoon. “Many Coloradans don’t yet understand the effect this kind of law would have on Colorado,” said Neil Ray, president of CAMRO. “Through a recent study and CORA request to the State Land Board, we’ve proven that untapped minerals below Colorado’s Wattenberg Field represent nearly $180 billion dollars of working interest cash flow and $26 billion dollars of royalty payments over the life of the field. This is money that doesn’t just benefit oil and gas companies. It benefits everyday royalty owners, Colorado’s communities, and the entire state.”
Read the full press release here.
Colorado Association of Mineral and Royalty Owners Study Shows Colorado Could Be on the Hook for $26 Billion if Bans on Energy Development Pass
“If the seizure of private property rights in Colorado is codified through the local control initiatives or statewide ballot measures, all property rights throughout the state are under attack. Not only do these estimates represent a staggering value that could be taken without compensation from mineral owners by proposed ballot initiatives, but they represent funds taken from tax coffers that fund schools, roads, and other community services that we all value,” said Neil Ray, president of CAMRO.
View the entire press release here!
**Study conducted by Netherland, Sewell and Associates.
MARTINEZ V. THE COGCC
CAMRO has been thoroughly following this court case on behalf of our members. We have testified against Representative Joe Salazar's bill, HB18-1071, that would have codified the decision of the court regardless of the fact that the case is incomplete. Now, we have officially filed an amicus curiae brief so the courts further analyze what the desired changes sought out in the court case would do to our members. View the brief here: Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners Amicus Curiae Brief 4-2-2018.pdf
"I am pleased to let you know that the Colorado Supreme Court has recognized CAMRO as an amicus party in the Martinez matter, and that the CAMRO brief – along with several others in support of the Commission - was accepted as filed. It will be a number of months before things go forward as the Respondents now will have the opportunity to file a response, and then oral argument will be set. Only after that occurs will an opinion be rendered. It still could be a year or more before a final ruling, although for now CAMRO’s work, on this case at least, is done as amicus typically do not file response briefs (only by leave of the Court). That said, this is the first time CAMRO has weighed in on a Supreme Court case, and I have appreciated the opportunity to work with you all to make this happen." For additional information, click here.
View the Order of Court letter accepting the brief here: ORDER OF COURT Accepting CAMRO Amicus Brief 4-11-2018.pdf
9/19/18 PRESS RELEASE: Colorado’s Public Schools to Lose at Least $230 Million in Funding if Proposition 112 Passes
Denver, Colorado – If Proposition 112 – an effective ban on mineral development in Colorado – passes this November, Colorado’s public schools likely will lose at least $230.3 million in funding in the first three years. The Colorado State Land Board owns a combined six million acres of surface and subsurface land and generates revenue by leasing the property for mineral development. A fact sheet released by the Colorado State Land Board found that, “if Proposition 112 had been implemented three years ago, revenue would have been reduced to $158.5 million, a 60% reduction.”
“Colorado already has the strictest regulations on mineral development in the nation,” said Neil Ray, President of the Colorado Alliance of Mineral and Royalty Owners (CAMRO). “A half-mile setback is not an attempt to regulate the industry. It’s an effective ban on mineral development.”
All revenue from mineral development on lands owned by the Colorado State Land Board goes to fund public education in Colorado, either through the Colorado Department of Education’s Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) program or the Public School Permanent Fund. The BEST program – majority funded by the Colorado State Land Board – has awarded $1.7 billion in grants since 2008, supporting improvements in public education and facilities for 180,000 students.
READ THE FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE!