Stitt Throws Fit Over Seminole Tribe’s Attempt to Tax Gas and Oil Companies!

Thanks to the US Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling, the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma has begun letting oil and gas companies to expect some new taxes on natural resources extracted from tribal land.

Although that seems fair to me, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, who’s number one goal since he took office was to drive a wedge between him and our tribal nations, isn’t pleased. Like seemingly everything involving Indigenous peoples, he promises a “near constant battle between tribal and other governments.”

From The Oklahoman:

“This is what I’ve been trying to warn Oklahomans about ever since the McGirt decision came about,” Stitt said in an interview. “I just see endless litigation…They really believe they can tax oil and gas. Of course that’s not our position. We think it’s reckless and unauthorized and it’s not going to stand.”

The trouble comes from a letter sent by the Seminoles to various gas and oil companies stating that, if they are pumping on Indigenous land, they owe them “a severance fee of 8% of the gross market value and file a monthly remittance report.”

While that sounds more than fair to the oil and gas companies that occupy that land, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter is instead playing dumb, saying that the Tribe’s letters were meant to scare and intimidate the various government-friendly businesses that received the letters from the tribe.

Also from the Oklahoman:

Hunter asked the tribe to “cease sending these letters to operators within Seminole County unless they are accompanied by proof of the Seminole Nation’s restricted real property interest in the land that is the subject of the specific operator’s lease as well as an explanation of the federal law authority relied upon by the Seminole Nation to regulate and tax that operator. I also ask that you send letters withdrawing your previous letters in (the) next seven days to all operators that you contacted in Seminole County.”

Look Stitt and other cronies: either quit your whining or tell those companies to move out of Indian Country. Of course, that’s too simple for the whining whites that currently run Oklahoma; with their constant social media missives of negotiating compacts with the Tribal leaders when they don’t go your way, I guess we’ll just have to play this dumb game out a little longer.

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39 Responses

  1. For our present political office-holders, there are two words that should never appear in the same sentence: “oil, ” and “taxes.”

    I’m not sure what to make of Stitt’s and Hunter’s hissyfits. Are they more cocerned about these new Tribal taxes’ potential effect on State tax revenues, or in trying to keep the Tribes in their place and not let them get too uppity?

    I’m sympathetic to the Tribes on this question, because you know what they say about karma.

    1. Louis got up this morning earlier than Patrick did. Patrick no doubt is still working on his post about Stitt’s buddy and the state’s “digital transformation” guru, David Ostrowe.

      Ostrowe, a Burger King – Taco Bell franchise executive before government “service,” was just indicted. He allegedly tried to use his office to strong-arm the OK Tax Commission into cutting some slack for of his friends.

      This must be the “Oklahoma Standard” we hear so much about.

      1. Plus: Mrs. Stitt (uninjured) was in a car wreck in OKC yesterday. Someone in the other vehicle had minor injuries.

      2. I think you meant “Jokelahoma Sub-Standard”

      3. As I commented in another article, this ahole is about the norm for Stitt’s selections to run our state agencies. They all come from business sections that could easily benefit from the decisions they make. Look at how Covid funds are being spent, and all the contracts that have been entered into with companies that did not exist prior to the outbreak. Next, look at the geographical location of these companies. Surprise, they’re in someone’s backyard.

  2. They can’t possibly scalp him, not with that seven dollar barber college headbone haircut he sports.

  3. After going along last week with Texas’ AG, it’s obvious that Mike Hunter isn’t playing dumb; he IS dumb.

    1. 100%

  4. Lost all respect for Hunter when he decided to join the amicus brief for the State of Texas in regards to the fake conspiracy theory on the voter fraud that never existed.

    1. Agreed, can you imagine the outrage and blowback had the Democratic party of one state file an action against 4 other states on their election rules/regulations/policies? The “STATES RIGHTS PURISTS/STRONG ADVOCATES”-aka Republican and Tea Party groups would have declared war-stated they should institute Marshall Law and could not be placated——oh wait they already have done stated that Marshall Law should be called out in Georgia after above said filing was rejected. How unique ( by unique I mean fucked up) is the thought you can intervene in other states if you want but “don’t Tread on Me if you’re coming to Texas”).

      What’s really asinine is most of these people know this is complete BS but they are so afraid of the Trump base they will do anything to protect their re-electibility–anything-and that should scare most of us.

      1. I think you meant “martial” law. It’s going to take years and a SCOTUS decision to resolve this case. “McGirt” was actually very limited in scope. I think considering the current makeup of the Court, they will find a way to limit its application to criminal law. That’s what Gorsuch specifically stated in his Opinion..

        1. This is why the state fought the decision so vigorously. The tribes will now take the sovereignty granted on criminal jurisdiction and begin applying it to all other state matters, leading to a long and winding trail of expensive lawsuits. You’re correct, it will take a SCOTUS decision and/or Federal legislative action to put it to rest. In the meantime, expect chaos, mud slinging and finger pointing. The only happy people will be the lawyers.

          1. Could they try fasting?

      2. “Martial” Law

        1. “Martian” law.

      3. *Martial-I misspell so many words and when I don’t autocorrect dooms me, I guess I could take more time and be more careful, but then again-that would make too much sense. LOL> .

        1. You’re in Oklahoma, Cap. No one cares.

      4. But, obviously their electability stems from the fact that most people in their state or district elect them. If we should be scared, the people who should most scare us are our neighbors, co-workers, and even family members.
        And if you had ever known my mom, you would know what I’m talking about.

        1. Well put and accurate (except the mom part, I’m reserving judgement in case she posts a retort!-LOL)

          1. I wouldn’t put it past my dear ma, despite her having departed this mortal coil, lo, some 18 years previous.

    2. What about when Hunter tried to screw up the medicaid expansion ballot question?

      Or screwing up the medical cannabis state question? Or when he tried to tie up the medical cannabis law in court after it passed by imposing all kinds of rules contrary to the law?

      Or perhaps his time as Scott Pruitt’s hatchet man?

      I suppose it’s better late than never losing respect for the guy.

      1. Clearly among other things, but this is the stupidest thing that he’s ever done. You cannot placate state questions passed by enough petition signatures. The will of the people cannot be overwritten.

        1. Actually they’ve had a good track record of shading state questions for their end. You might look at the wording for the state question about Right to Work 20 years ago. The wording was “technically correct” but quite misleading and hiding the real purpose.

          If the poor lawyer working the cannabis rules hadn’t faked a story about being harrassed, we’d never know what Hunter was doing to tie this thing up in court for years.

          Would we ever get any real news with TLO or the Gazette?

  5. :::They really believe they can tax oil and gas.:::

    STITT [complaining to staff]: Now, looka HEAH! I seen where these IND’yuns is tryin’ to collect TAXES from my Masters! You hear me? FROM MY MASTERS! Can you buh-LEEVE the im-PERT-nance of tryin’ to tax someone who’s a drillin’ and pumpin’ oil off’n their land? Why, they ought to be PAYIN’ the oil comp-nees who’s a tryin’ to make this world an’ my personal bank account a better place…they ought to PAY THEM fur the PRIV-lige o’ extractin’ that-there oil, instead o’ tryin’ to taxify them!

    Some people shore is ungrateful all up in here, I tell you what.

  6. Is that a Seminole tax or the Seminole’s share of mineral rights?
    There is a vast difference.
    Mineral right owners have a right to negotiate a price on what is removed from the ground.

    1. The Seminoles want to impose a severance tax within their boundaries similar to the State of Oklahoma’s severance tax. Severance taxes aren’t negotiable.

      Apparently that tax would apply to oil produced in Seminole Country regardless of who owns the mineral rights – whether that’s the tribe or a non-Native individual.

    2. Can’t wait for them to go after Koch Industries!

  7. I’m with the tribe on this one. Screw the oil and gas companies.

  8. Go pretty much anywhere West of I-35 and look at all the wind turbines being put up. “Big Oil” is going kaput right in front of our eyes and all the Repub landowner voters who scream for fracking are finding it lucrative to lease out their land for as many turbines as they can get. Funny that. Meanwhile, Stitty blowing his wad with – I told you so’s- about the Indians and (name your minority group) taking over!

    Political theater.

  9. It must suck when the power to give away state resources for political donations is taken out of your hands.

  10. Now let me get all of this straight. Stitt claims to be Native American. At one point the tribe tried to remove him, thinking they probably wish they had. Stitt prefers local control of the schools, one of the reasons he used for no school mask mandate. This week he wants all the schools to open for in school learning. So much for the local schools deciding on if they should continue distance learning.

    Now it appears the Tribes aren’t really sovereign nations, or that is what Stitt is saying. If the oil fields are on Tribal land, am thinking they can levy a tax, much like Oklahoma can levy a tax when it on their land. Do the tribes pay property tax to the State of Oklahoma? Since they have rights to hunting and fishing on their land, think they can levy a tax on natural resources also. But I also thought Stitt was wrong on the gaming compacts renewing, so his logic can be flawed.

    Speaking of flawed, how ’bout that cabinet member being indicted? Is that a first for Oklahoma? Don’t recall any of Mary Fallin’s sketchy nominations being indicted while in office. Plus an appointed state official indicted for attempting to bribe a public official. Imagine that, or as Ostrowe said himself when commenting on the indictment “only in Oklahoma.”

    The indictment is fascinating reading, and am guessing there might be more people indicted should the investigation continue, and not just disappear as is often the case. But kudos to Stitt for the company he likes to keep, and his choices for the “business leaders” he has brought to “help” the state. It’s looking like the state was supposed to “help” them a bit more.

    Sarah Stitt has 5 speeding tickets on, including one going 16-20mph over limit. Normally officers are charitable with the speed on the ticket, so am guessing she likes to see how fast that Toyota can go. Interested in finding out if Ms Stitt was not paying attention while driving, speeding, or had just decided to ignore that red light, as the accident was reported as happening in the intersection. Hope the other driver isn’t seriously injured, but they should seek legal representation so they don’t have to talk to Legal Team Stitt. In Stitt’s mind that other driver was at fault because they shouldn’t have been in the intersection when Sarah was trying to leave the capitol.

    Stitt is actually more embarrassing than Mary Fallin, and starting to mimic the antics of Mary’s daughter “Hipster Boo-Boo” had she been Governor instead of her mom.

    Hang on this dumpster fire riding on top of a train wreck that is the Governor of Oklahoma is going to get even more entertaining. With a PAC already set up to defeat his second term I’m thinking he might just announce his plans for 2022 soon. Perhaps he is of the opinion that he can pardon himself, and all his “Stitt-heads” in the Cabinet.

    I’m just afraid that you just haven’t seen anything yet, he has two more years to screw up, and yes things can get worse.

    Stitt promised he would bring “business people” in

    1. They’re definitely doing the job of sucking the public teat, while creating new companies just for the sole purpose of sucking up as much Covid Relief Funds as possible (DHS and others).

  11. Hopefully whatever the are able to get out of the oil companies will go to education and healthcare.

  12. I’m not sure I’m comparing apples to apples, but the Osage tribe collects their own severence tax.

    1. It’s not apples to apples. The Osage mineral estate was reserved and kept intact across the entire reservation prior to allotment. It’s a fascinating story that’s worth checking out some time. The mineral estate is owned by the descendants and assignees of the original tribal members, so what the shareholders receive is a royalty, not a severance tax. State of Oklahoma gross production (severance) taxes are still paid on Osage Oil.

      What the Seminole Nation has done is to attempt to impose a severance tax that has never before existed on all production within the historic bounds of the reservation—Seminole County—not on lands owned by the tribe, but on all land within the county: owned by non-tribal members, tribal members, the state, the federal government, etc.

      I know we like to hate on the oil companies, and certainly some (maybe much!) of that is well deserved, but this is the sort of action that, if allowed by then state, could have far-reaching consequences. I don’t think it would be acceptable to the citizens of Tulsa County if all of the sudden every property owner within the county were to receive a tax bill from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation that the property owner would be required to pay along with the taxes already paid to Tulsa County. This is a big deal, and I think that some critical thinking would be valuable before everyone jumps onboard railing against oil companies.

      For whatever it’s worth, ‘big oil’ left Seminole county behind several years ago. The majority of Seminole county oil production is operated by small businesses that would be quite negatively impacted by a sudden 8% decrease in gross revenue. I’m taking a little stab here, but the average barrel of oil in Seminole county probably costs around $28/bbl to produce without overhead. Take a 20% royalty (average, some are lower, some are higher) off the top, keep in mind the price received for crude is between $1-$4 off the quoted price for WTI, and an additional 8% cut gets pretty painful.

      I think we, as citizens of Oklahoma, need to take a critical look at what the long-term consequences of the McGirt decision could look like.

      All the best to all the Lost Oglers!

    2. I recall reading that minerals in Osage county are treated differently than anywhere else in the United States? Something like the tribe owns all the minerals on Osage land.

  13. Bring back the Bull Stitt commercials! Doesn’t even need to be in an ad for a candidate.

  14. Their land, their taxes. Get over it Stitt, you idiot putz.AFV

  15. Stitts real goal is 2026, when he runs for the senate to replace that fossil Inhofe.

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