Monday, May 31, 2010

Panel's makeup in dispute

The Las Vegas Optic

May 31, 2010

"By David Giuliani
Some are alleging that San Miguel County’s new task force on oil and gas regulations is heavily weighted toward the industry.

Of the 10 members, four of them have ties to oil and gas.

In April, the County Commission formed the panel to make recommendations for an ordinance that would deal specifically with oil and gas drilling. No requests for drilling are pending, but officials said they wanted to be prepared.

Both the county and the city of Las Vegas have enacted moratoriums on any drilling until they can enact new regulations.

For its task force, the county has divided the members into four groups — oil and gas industry, environmental and educational, citizens and county representatives.

The oil industry members consist of Karin Foster, an attorney with the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, and John Michael Richardson of the Petroleum and Mineral Land Services firm.

The environmental and educational members are Jeffrey Mills of the state Environment Department and Ken Bentson, a forestry professor at Highlands University.

The citizen members are general contractor J. David Blagg, retiree Ernesto Borunda and resident Larry Webb.

The county representatives are County Commissioner Nicolas Leger, County Manager Les Montoya and Planning and Zoning Supervisor Alex Tafoya.

Besides Foster and Richardson, both Webb and Mills are linked to the oil and gas industry. " More>>>>

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