Thursday, March 10, 2011

NM State Legislature 2011: HB297: Blanket Plugging Financial Assurance Increase

March 2011 
HB297 Sponsored by:  Representative Tomas  Garcia, Ocate, Mora County, New Mexico
The House Energy and Natural Resources Committee substitute for HB 297 would dismantle existing safeguards on inactive oil and gas wells, directing the Oil Conservation Division to promulgate rules according to woefully inadequate guidelines. CVNM had negotiated a compromise on the previous version of HB 297, but the new substitute bill bears no resemblance whatsoever to the carefully crafted compromise. Inactive wells pose significant dangers to our drinking water--and contamination from inactive wells has occurred recently, even under existing safeguards. Any efforts to weaken those protections would only further jeopardize the groundwater on which most New Mexicans depend.