Sunday, May 4, 2008

"Oil, gas conference to draw thousands"

"Keynote speaker Bob Gallagher, chief executive of the 325-company New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, marks a first this year. He's spoken here before, but never with keynote status.

Arguably, most people are familiar with the NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitude, regarding mixed-use areas, but Gallagher said he'll take that outlook to a new level — BANANAS.

"My talk will be a mix-master about the events going on in New Mexico: the emotional obstructionists and the BANANAS — build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything," he said. "I'll also talk about the CAVE attitude — citizens against virtually anything (everything?)."

Gallagher's speaking habits don't include prepared notes.

"I'll be winging it," he said.

He's titled his speech "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the oil industry." The speech starts at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The good is the revenue the industry brings to the state's coffers — $2,826,475,753 in 2006 as recorded by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and State Land Office.

The bad translates to "overzealous" regulation of environmental issues, Gallagher said.

The ugly is various communities' attempts to develop moratoriums against new drilling. Gallagher cited Santa Fe County's Galisteo Basin and Rio Arriba's unanimous county commission vote April 24 to impose a four-month moratorium on new drilling on some of the county's lands. It excluded state, federal and tribal lands, over which the county has no jurisdiction, and any lands within the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality."

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