Oil & Gas Bill Update
Posted: March 4, 2003
Thanks to your effort, the oil and gas industry was denied a recommendation for passage of HB 458 from the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee today. The bill was passed out of the committee "without expression," meaning that while the bill can receive the necessary "readings" in the Rules Committee, it must return to the agriculture and natural resources committee for a vote in favor of passage of the bill before the full Senate can vote on the bill. Senator Kelly made the motion in order to allow for the possibility of an amendment to address our concerns.
Your calls, letters and faxes are making a difference. A number of the committee members expressed concern with the bill, which removes virtually all local government power to regulate oil and gas industry abuse, yet does not require that the state Department of Mines and Minerals adopt regulations to prevent those industry abuses.
Senator Harris, the committee chair, will hear the bill again at a committee meeting Thursday at 10 a.m.
We will offer an amendment to require state regulation of all aspects of the industry and to limit local government pre-emption to those cases where the state has adopted a permitting or environmental standard. Please continue your calls to all Senators to oppose HB 458 unless it is amended to satisfy the concerns of the counties and advocates for surface landowners.