The company’s statement said it retains minerals in many areas of the country, including North Carolina, “where we do not believe currently commercially producible minerals have been found.”
Many suspect that D.R. Horton has been quietly amassing a potential energy goldmine. Amid a general shale gas fracking frenzy in this country, the N.C. Geological Survey in recent years has been widely publicizing an estimated 40-year supply of natural gas concentrated in Lee, Moore and Chatham counties. The shale gas discovery here has prompted efforts in the state to legalize fracking, while others have vowed to delay or block the practice.
Bert Garrido considered buying a D.R. Horton home last year, going so far as making a down payment. He said he didn’t learn about the mineral rights issue until he asked to see a sales contract.
“If you didn’t ask, they didn’t tell you much of anything,” said Garrido, who ended up not buying the home. “They said, ‘Don’t worry, there are no mineral rights here. This is a Texas company, and this is their standard contract.’”