PropertyProf Blog

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Univ. of Kentucky College of Law

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Estate of Panic

Hmm, I'm not quite sure this is high-brow enough for propertyprof.  But ... sci-fi channel is bringing us a new original series, "Estate of Panic."  According to the sci-fi channel's website:

There's no place like this home. Estate of Panic turns nightmares into reality and pushes phobias to the limit.

Each week, a new group of contestants enter the estate searching for money hidden inside of booby-trapped rooms. The walls in one cave in, creating a hopelessly small space. Can the contestants survive it? Then thousands of creepy, crawling bugs line the walls and floor of another room, and flooding water rises by the second in another.

Throughout it all, contestants must remain calm because if they panic, they won't get paid.

The game begins with seven contestants who compete in three nerve-wracking challenges. After each challenge two are eliminated and their winnings are added back into the prize pot. The last person standing faces a final challenge in the Vault Room.

I've got to think that there's a place for this in trusts and estates class.  I'm just not sure where it fits.

Al Brophy

November 8, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Teaching Natural Resources Law in First Year Property

The paper on drilling in the Marcellus Shale mentioned in the previous post is very timely -- I just did a short unit on ownership of water and natural resources in my first-year Property class.  This was the first time that I've covered natural resources in Property.  I thought it worked very well, and brought out some very important issues (e.g., that the mineral estate generally is dominant over the surface estate).  I know that it is hard to cover more material in the ever-shrinking first-year course, but I thought that the mineral and water issues were worth the hour or two it took to discuss them.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

November 5, 2008 in Natural Resources, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Bollinger on Marcellus Shale

Justin Bollinger has posted Marcellus Shale Exploration & Farmland Preservation in Pennsylvania on SSRN.  Here's the abstract:

The recent boom in drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale formation, hidden deep below the surface in parts of northern and western Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, West Virginia, and Maryland, will undoubtedly have immediate and lasting consequences for countless acres preserved through Pennsylvania's Farmland Preservation Program, private land trusts, and tax incentive programs such as the Clean and Green Act. Many Pennsylvania farms preserved through these programs are likely to encounter pressure to permit drilling on preserved farms if such tracts are located in areas with high concentrations of natural gas. The Farmland Preservation Program, as it was originally enacted, does not prohibit drilling for natural gas on preserved land. Consequently, farmers have had the option to allow drilling on their preserved farms, which some have allowed. However, the recent increase in drilling activity has raised concerns with the Farmland Preservation Program, farmers, and those concerned with conservation that such drilling may inhibit the goals of the preservation program. On the other hand, the added source of income may be a way for farming families to pay off outstanding debt associated with their agricultural operations and to pass the farm on to the next generation without having to sell or subdivide land to residential or commercial developers.

This paper will discuss the intersection of these two topics, drilling and farmland preservation, specifically addressing a handful of Pennsylvania preservation programs and laws and the ways that each program seeks to deal with drilling on preserved land. Additional questions such as whether the current preservation programs and laws are consistent with the policy objectives underlying the programs, whether the programs are consistent with one another in furthering preservation, and whether the current programs could benefit from the recent increase in drilling, will also be incorporated. Also, the approach of neighboring states will be addressed as a way to suggest some possible ways for Pennsylvania to clarify its position on drilling for natural gas on preserved farmland in order to create a consistent approach from a policy perspective.

Ben Barros

[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]

November 5, 2008 in Natural Resources, Recent Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)