Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Officials say they learned lessons

Oil, gas panel meets for 1st time

By David Giuliani

Las Vegas Optic

"San Miguel County officials say they have learned some lessons from the task force that produced a proposed ordinance regulating wind farms.

They spoke during the first meeting of the oil and gas task force, which is expected to draft an ordinance for energy production in the county.

County Manager Les Montoya said he hopes the new task force will focus on its members.

“We got a little out of hand with the wind task force,” Montoya said. “We wanted to be open in that process. Maybe we were too open. We had a lot of different perspectives. We want to keep it focused on the people who are here.”

Alex Tafoya, the county planning and zoning supervisor, said in certain cases, members of the wind task force agreed on an issue and then some would come to him later and say that they actually disagreed.

“I would like to get this done rather than dragging it out over an extended period of time,” he said.

The wind farm task force started in early 2009, but after a few months, the county changed its membership to include more people to represent industry interests. The group produced a number of versions of the ordinance.

Recently, the County Commission delayed a decision on the proposed wind ordinance. The big issue in that instance was how far wind turbines should be from homes.

Last week, all but one member of the oil and gas task force showed up. The members included divergent interests — from Karin Foster, executive director of the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, to Pat Leahan, co-director of the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center." More>>>>

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