EARTHWORKS

Good news for New Mexico, drilling affected communities across the country

Alan Septoff's avatar
By Alan Septoff

February 14, 2010

Yesterday a bill that would allow citizens to stop polluters from polluting took a big step towards becoming law.

The New Mexico House Judiciary Committee passed Private Action to Enforce Environmental Statute - HOUSE BILL 259.

It goes to the House floor this afternoon; then it's on to the Senate.  If it passes the whole legislature, the Governor will certainly sign it into law.

More good news.  The New Mexico legislature also killed a ridiculous proposal by drilling industry champions.  Industry wanted to punish communities who regulated oil & gas drilling by prohibiting them from receiving taxes generated by drilling.  Only if a community let industry run wild would they get severance tax revenue.  Fortunately, that proposal died (was tabled) a well deserved death this week.

This is a big deal nationwide because New Mexico is a bellwether for the entire country.  Good drilling laws and regulations in New Mexico will influence other states wrestling with similar issues -- like New York and Pennsylvania.

Thanks to everyone that made calls and donated to help counter industry's initiatives.

Stay tuned for more updates. Things are looking good, but the fight is not over.

Tagged with: severance tax, regulation, new mexico, hb 259, citizen suits

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