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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