Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recognizing Local Governments' Authority to Protect Their Citizens

I introduced a bill today in the House (HB 471), which recognizes a local government's authority to protect its citizens by enacting regulations regarding oil and gas operations.

The bill can be found HERE when the Legislature's website updates this evening.

The bill states that "the legislature recognizes the inherent authority of municipalities and counties to protect the health, safety and welfare of their residents by enacting ordinances protecting water and watershed from oil and gas drilling, imposing reasonable bonding requirements on oil and gas drilling, production and other activities and otherwise regulating oil and gas operations within their respective zoning jurisdictions."

This bill is the mirror-image of Senate Bill 17, which seeks to strip counties and municipalities of their power to regulate oil and gas operations.

I am happy to note that the bill is cosponsored by the Santa Fe House delegation, members of the House's leadership, and Santa Fe State Senator Peter Wirth.

There will be a huge fight over this bill, but it's a fight worth fighting.

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