LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Officials are planning an Oct. 24 auction of state-owned oil and gas lease rights.
MLive.com reports the auction was formally approved Thursday during a meeting of the state's Natural Resources Commission.
The auction affects a total of roughly 196,000 acres of state land in Allegan, Arenac, Barry, Bay, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Ionia, Iosco, Kalkaska, Kent, Lake, Manistee, Midland, Montmorency, Oakland, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Ottawa, Presque Isle, Saginaw, Tuscola and Wexford counties.
The meeting drew a crowd, including some who worry that the plan will open the door to more oil and gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing, known as "fracking."
The state Department of Natural Resources says the lease rights alone don't give permission to extract oil or gas. That needs an OK from the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Registration of bidders will begin at 8 a.m. on Oct. 24 and continue throughout the auction. Registration will be at the Michigan Constitution Hall, 525 W. Allegan St in Lansing. Bids may be submitted by individuals of legal age, a partnership, corporation, or other legal entity qualified to do business in Michigan. Prospective bidders will be required to submit a valid government-issued photo identification, which will be retained until the time of check out. It can be in the form of a driver's license or identification card.
Offering of lease rights will begin at 9 a.m. at an expected minimum bid of $10 per acre and will continue until all descriptions have been offered. Additionally, at the auction's end and at the option of the DNR, parcels for which no bids are received may be re-offered at an expected minimum bid of $2 per acre.
An auction catalog showing the legal description of the lands proposed to be offered and parcel classifications will be available after Sept. 13 at http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10368_11800-169044--,00.html or by calling 517.373.7663 or contacting them at --
P.O. Box 30452
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7952
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