Monday, September 13, 2010

Drilling Industry and Gubernatorial Candidates Move to Weaken Some State Regulations--Propublica

by Sabrina Shankman
Aug. 5, 1:08 p.m.

As the federal government focuses on strengthening regulations for deepwater drilling, the gas and oil industry is quietly trying to weaken state regulations for drilling on land.

The industry's current targets are regulations passed by New Mexico and Colorado in 2008 and 2009. The New Mexico regulations mandate that the industry use thick industrial liners in the pits that hold its toxic waste. The Colorado regulations tighten controls on just about every aspect of the industry, from the waste pits to air quality.

The industry is challenging the regulations in court and through administrative appeals, arguing that the regulations are unreasonably expensive and are forcing companies to move to states with looser regulations. That argument has also surfaced in the New Mexico and Colorado gubernatorial races, where candidates from both parties have promised to repeal, or at least re-evaluate, the rules....continued....