The state Attorney General's office estimates that around 400 to 500 homes have been sold in North Carolina in recent years stripped of legal rights to drill and frack for natural gas under the properties.
The homebuilder, D.R. Horton, this week notified state officials it would return those rights to any homeowner who requests it. The company did an about-face amid a public outcry and twin state reviews of its practice. Many of the affected homes were sold throughout the Triangle.
D.R. Horton's policies of systematically stripping drilling rights is under review by the state AG's Consumer Protection Division and by the N.C. Real Estate Commission. Both agencies are now tracking the builder's offer to return mineral rights to customers who make the request.
At this point it remains unclear how long the offer to return mineral rights will be available and how many D.R. Horton customers are aware of it.