We, Nopaxton.com, are a growing group of Lodi and Saline residents that are concerned about the impact that oil and gas drilling and associated operations may have on our land and environment. Those who live here appreciate the natural beauty, clean water and air, and relative peace and quiet, and want to keep it that way. Based on substantial freely and publicly available information, it is clear that exploitation of oil, gas, and other mineral resources under our land may result in a variety of unintended, unwelcome side-effects, and we do not intend to allow that to happen.

If you live in Lodi or Saline and have been approached by a company calling itself Paxton Resources, or are concerned about potential side-effects of oil and gas drilling on your or your neighbors properties and want to learn more, please contact us at: nopaxton at gmail dot com

Friday, March 23, 2012

Paxton Resources Denied Lease of Land by Washtenaw County Road Commission

Since at least December 2011, Paxton Resources has sought to lease a small parcel of land from the Washtenaw County Road Commission for inclusion into a new drilling unit just south of downtown Saline.  A lease was being negotiated between Paxton and a representative of the Commission, and the lease was placed on the "consent" agenda for March 20, 2012.  While the size of the parcel is supposedly small relative to the overall unit, obtaining a lease from the County was important to Paxton, as without it they must either not drill in this area or go through legal proceedings to execute "compulsory pooling."

Nopaxton.com members attended the March 20 meeting to convey additional information to the Commissioners so that they could make the most well informed decision possible on the lease and to convey their opposition.  Some highlights included:

  • A local citizen showing off a lease he received from Paxton Resources - notarized but without any signature!  Commissioners were surprised someone would engage in such practices, with a legal advisor stating that it was clearly not good practice.    The citizen conveyed that it was his feeling that this was representative of the manner in which Paxton conducts business.
  • Another citizen talking about the stench from the current wells that Paxton Resources owns and operates in the area, and how when he bikes through the area he feels sorry for those that must live with the air pollution.
  • A Washtenaw County Commissioner expressing his frustration with the DEQ and their seeming inability to respond to Washtenaw County's requests for information.  The Commissioner (Mr. Wes Prater) decried the State's attempts to strip the powers of local government to protect its citizens, conveyed that he believes there are significant questions to be answered, and did not support the leasing of Washtenaw County land to Paxton Resources.
  • Mr. Greg Vadnais, who works for Paxton Resources and is the son of one of the owners, expressing how he was surprised that the lease was open for public consideration as it was on the "consent agenda."
  • Mr. Vadnais also claimed that he had heard no complaints about their work, was unaware that unsigned notarized documents were being sent out, and claimed that any accusations were simply cherry- picked statements or things that occurred a long time ago.  He also used the phrase, "throw you under the bus" when referring to the County Road Commission and Paxton's plans to go forward regardless of the desires of the Commission or the concerned citizens.

The Commission voted a unanimous "NO" on leasing the property, and the lease was turned down.  We'll see whether Paxton Resources chooses to subvert the decision of the Board and the desire of the local citizenry by attempting to force the issue via compulsory pooling.

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