Sunday, June 15, 2008

County gains good guide for drilling-rules quest

From the Santa Fe New Mexican:

"When Santa Fe County leaders announced a couple of weeks ago that they'd hired a team of land-use attorneys and planning experts to help write gas- and oil-drilling rules, it must have seemed anti-climactic to the environmentalists and other activists scurrying to fend off the Texas company eyeing the Galisteo Basin:

Drilling opponents had shown up in droves at public meetings toward the end of last year and the beginning of 2008. They took heart from Gov. Bill Richardson's January announcement of a six-month drilling suspension — and from the county commissioners' February declaration of a year-long moratorium.

Could the county, by next February, come up with ordinances and regulations tough enough to keep the countryside from being littered with Oil Patch detritus, yet reasonable enough to keep Tecton from taking the county to court — and to the cleaners — for daring to stand in the way of a petroleum industry favored by federal giveaway laws?

It wasn't looking good — and the picture got worse when another oil company sued Río Arriba County over its moratorium. " more>>>>

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