OSAGE COUNTY, Okla. - Two groups in Osage County disagree on ways to better enforce mineral rights regulations.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs regulates oil and gas production in Osage County, because the mineral rights belong to the Osage Nation. Its regulations date back to 1906, but some people in the county think they need to be updated.
"Our frustration has been generations, dealing with the unenforced regulations, lack of appropriate regulations," said Jeff Henry, president of the Osage County Cattleman's Association.
Henry says the current regulations are too vague.
"We're not trying to attempt to stop drilling or keep anyone from doing so. We just expect them to do it in a respectful and environmentally-friendly fashion," Henry said.
Now the bureau is updating those regulations, and the cattleman's association has proposed several changes. Henry says they are hitting a brick wall.
I"t's a combination that's been going on for years and years, that's allowed the pollution, the oil spills and the salt water spills to go unenforced, for literally generations," Henry said. "There are some issues there that I really think we need to explore more carefully."
Cynthia Boone of the Osage Nation Minerals Council said she would like to see better enforcement of current regulations with a few changes.
"I'm not in favor of cut and paste sort of situation where we're going to take somebody else's regs and put them in with our regulations," Boone said.
But Henry thinks the regulations need to be overhauled completely.