October 1, 2011

$175 million? Ha!

One of the few fun things about lawsuits is that the accusers have to tell a bit of a story about themselves to prove that they have standing to bring the case. In the Anschutz lawsuit against the Town of Dryden, we learn that they spent $4.7 million to purchase leases on 22,000 acres:

Beginning in or around December 2006, Anschutz, through its predecessor Ansbro Petroleum Company ("Ansbro"), began acquiring oil and gas leases in the Town. Id. at ¶ 6. Currently, Anschutz is the owner of oil and gas leases covering approximately 22,000 acres in the Town. Id. at ¶ 7. Anschutz has invested approximately $ 4,700,000.00 in acquiring its leasehold position in the Town. Id. at ¶ 10. And, in pursuit of its plans to develop the oil and gas... Anschutz has conducted certain geological assessments, including seismic evaluations, which have cost Anschutz over $400,000. (page 18, "FACTS")

That $4.7 million in speculative lease investment comes to $213.63 per acre, less than 1/14th the valuation of $3000 that the Dryden Safe Energy Coalition used to come up with their utterly bogus claim of $175 million dollars in value lost by a ban. I already tore that number down for a lot of reasons, but now that we have an actual price paid for the acreage, it looks even more pathetic.

Worse, they continue to use that value - their front page still mutters about:

Assume you are a farmer with 100 acres of land. As vacant land, they are worth about $2,500 an acre, less if you have used an agricultural tax break. Your land is worth $250,000. But, the mineral rights alone are worth $300,000, more than the total vacant land value.

That big false number was good for two things: to make people think they might get rich if there wasn't a ban, and to make the possible costs of a lawsuit seem that much scarier.

$4.7 million isn't a small number overall, but $213.63/acre has a very different "emotional" impact than the $3000/acre the supposedly "rational" DSEC folks have been pushing. They should be ashamed of themselves for pushing it.

Posted by simon at October 1, 2011 6:09 PM in ,
Note on photos