Lawmaker Proposes Oil/Gas Drilling On State Lands

An oil derrick sits right in front of the Oklahoma courthouse…drawing up what some call liquid gold. The question is now being raised in Frankfort….could Kentucky have untapped resources on its state owned lands?

“And this would be a revenue measure that we could possibly get without taxing people or cutting,” said Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London.

Jensen has a bill moving through the legislature…that would allow oil and natural gas drilling at universities, state parks, and other state owned lands.

“Until this tough time is over, I think we need to think a little outside the box, “ said Jensen.

There are some environmental, if not aesthetic concerns of putting oil and gas wells on some of Kentucky’s most pristine lands, but Jensen says there are ways to do it without compromising Kentucky’s natural beauty.

Jensen says natural gas drills don’t take up much scenic space. But as the bill was being discussed in a house committee Wednesday..other concerns were raised.

“The bill has language in it, like ‘the oil and gas drilling should not unreasonably interfere with primary uses of land.’I don’t know what ‘unreasonably interfere’ is. I think the good is that you don’t interfere at all,” said Tom FitzGerald with the Kentucky Resources Council.

Jensen says there are many untapped pockets of natural gas. And he says that money is ripe for the picking.

“Montana, for example, last year, $31 million, they got from projects,” said Jensen.

Senate bill 138 passed the house committee with a 7 to 2 vote Wednesday. It now moves on to the House floor

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