Except that’s not what happened. You can pull up the video and watch it yourself. You don’t have to take my, or Rolly’s, word for it. The vote opened and Thurston’s vote is the lone vote in opposition. Then, instead of four minutes passing, it took Thurston just about 45 seconds to change his vote from “No” to “Yes.” 45 seconds. Not four minutes of staring while everyone else waited. In fact, the body was still waiting for Representatives Fred Cox, Brian King, and Jim Dunnigan to cast their votes, all of who didn’t vote until after Thurston changed his vote.—Utah Politico HubThe Long View
Almost everyone takes the money. You’d be crazy not to. According to industry estimates, oil and gas companies paid more than $15 million in royalties to Texans across the state in 2012. That doesn’t include initial signing bonuses, which can be enormous. Houston-area oil and gas heir Daniel Harrison III collected $1 billion in cash in 2013 when Shell Oil Co. leased his 100,000-acre ranch in the Eagle Ford.
But across the shale plays—primarily the Barnett in the north and the Eagle Ford in the south—there are some who reject the landmen’s offers. Known in the industry as “holdouts,” these mineral rights owners dare to challenge Big Oil in Texas. It’s a kind of principled madness that often baffles neighbors, family members and the industry itself. Unlike many fracking foes, the holdouts stand to benefit personally from oil and gas drilling. Yet they risk much more than money fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground. Some lose their health, their homes and their faith in the government as an arbiter of competing rights. Rarely are they able to stop the companies from drilling. For this uncommon breed, no amount of money can buy peace of mind.—Texas Observer