Thursday, May 19, 2022

Play

U.S. mayors train to fend off increased threats and harassment, the Illinois governor signs a ban on 'Ghost Guns,' and death anxiety could play a role in Vladimir Putin's Ukraine invasion.

Play

The White House asks Congress for more pandemic support, the House passes a domestic terrorism bill, Kansas' Supreme Court upholds a new congressional map, and a House committee hears testimony on abortion access.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

NM Legislature Debates Tougher Rules, Penalities for Oil and Gas

Play

Wednesday, January 27, 2021   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Senate has agreed to take up a bill that would increase penalties for produced water spills by the oil and gas industry.

"Produced water" is the flowback from fracking, known to contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals toxic to humans.

Camilla Feibelman, director of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, said spills from produced water occur as frequently as three times a week, and subsequently poison New Mexico's land, water and air.

"Currently this waste really is out of control," Feibelman contended. "We're seeing thousands of ponds and corroded steel tanks that store this waste."

If passed, the legislation also would ban oil and gas companies from using fresh water in most cases, and require them to disclose the chemical composition of produced water from spills and any proposed use outside the oil field.

Most of the state is experiencing severe drought conditions and Feibelman stressed groundwater and surface water supplies from rivers, streams and reservoirs need to be protected.

Introduced by state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, Senate Bill 86 is scheduled to be heard tomorrow by the Senate Conservation Committee.

Feibelman stated currently, oil and gas companies are not required to take enough preventive measures to protect New Mexicans.

"Right now spills aren't illegal, you just have to report them and clean them up," Feibelman explained. "But we think disincentivizing the spills will help improve the care they're taking with equipment and with training and potential human error."

Oil and gas leaders in New Mexico, where the industry accounts for nearly one-third of the state's general fund revenues, have already raised concerns over President Joe Biden's executive order last week, which put a 60-day pause on new oil and gas leases on federal land.

The next sale of leases in New Mexico is scheduled after the two-month moratorium.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
A revised federal spending plan for Community Action Agencies creates a new Broadband Navigator discretionary program to help connect low-income families to high-speed internet. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

May is Community Action Month, and local agencies helping low-income families hope Congress signs off on a plan to bolster and modernize their …


Environment

After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the …

Social Issues

May is Wildfire Awareness Month, and state officials are encouraging Coloradans to get up to speed on prevention and emergency-exit strategies if …


In North Dakota, student-loan borrowers owe an average of $29,246 in federal, private debt. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The White House is fielding pitches from top Democratic lawmakers about their desire to dramatically expand student loan forgiveness. While a …

Health and Wellness

As the school year winds down, education leaders are shedding light on increased mental-health demands among students, including thoughts of suicide…

Researchers say most often, the worst consequence an employer will face for wage theft is to pay back a portion of stolen wages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new report found dishonest employers steal from some 213,000 people in Ohio each year by paying them less than the minimum wage; and it is just one …

Social Issues

Illinois has a new law banning the sale and possession of "ghost guns," essentially untraceable firearms that are sold in kit-form online or at gun sh…

Social Issues

With firearm deaths in Connecticut and across the country on the rise, a new initiative in Hartford aims to interrupt gun violence through a …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021