Friday, January 21, 2011

Egolf tapped for energy panel in House committee shake-up

Steve Terrell | The New Mexican

"As part of the ripple effects of an unsuccessful effort to topple House Speaker Ben Luján, the Nambé legislator on Thursday appointed Santa Fe Rep. Brian Egolf, an avowed environmentalist and member of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, as chairman of the House Energy and Natural Resources.

The move could mean trouble for legislative efforts to reverse environmental rules for the oil-and-gas industry.

However, Egolf, talking to reporters, said, "The most important thing here is to be fair and even-handed and let both sides have their say and see where the members put their votes. The chairman only has one vote on the committee. That's important to remember."

The committee is split evenly among Democrats and Republicans.

"I have never taken an anti-oil and anti-gas position," Egolf said. "I have taken what I thought were pretty common-sense positions that some — and I do mean some — people in the oil-and-gas industry have not liked. ... The responsible operators have no problems." ' More>>>>

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