Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Editorial: Gas Producers agree to clean 'Oil Patch' air"

"If it's done right, the job of environment secretary for the state of New Mexico is not for the faint of heart.

In recent decades, lots of the work has amounted to playing catch-up with a century or so of plundering the American West. With that exploitation came a consequences-be-damned approach to mining and hydrocarbon drilling and processing — directed from the comfort of gentlemen's clubs by Wall Street barons, and carried out in some of our state's bleaker quarters under the eyes of highly skilled, rough-and-tumble engineers undaunted by Mother Nature.

So when our state and the rest of the country got serious about environmental protection, the job of reclaiming ripped-away land and poisoned water was enormous. It still is — and because extractive-industry executives don't want shareholders, including themselves, stuck with the cost, they use all the leverage they can muster to minimize environment department enforcement of some potentially effective New Mexico laws. "

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