I still don’t get how you can buy your way out of drought. Seems like that’s what a couple of bills are about. SB440 is for $120 million for the lower Rio Grande and SB462 would give the Carlsbad Irrigation District $2.5 million . But let's face it. No amount of money for water rights is going to make it rain. Unhappily for all of us, whether we’re in denial or not, climate change means we should set policy for big water use reductions and super-efficiencies.
It might help if we didn't pollute so much of it.
After it's polluted - or turned into 'slick' water, operators ‘dispose’ of it. It is considered 'consumed' and unavailable for any other use ever again. If we're lucky. You don't want it to turn up again in drinking water, to state the obvious.
If it does, don't expect to sue an oil or gas company. HB429 ‘Private Right of Action’ would change the law to allow individuals to sue companies that pollute. It has been amended and heads to House Judiciary. As does an amended version of HB286 which will be heard in that committee Saturday, March 2. That bill updates the ridiculously low penalties for violations of the Oil and Gas Act.
The industry has been biting at the heels of the State’s Water Quality Control Commission for years. Senator Phil Griego is sponsoring changes to the make-up of that board with SB193. And there may be an effort to abolish it completely on the Senate Floor soon. That should be lively. SB463 sponsored by Senator Carlos Cisneros would cut off at the knees local governments' ability to restrict oil and gas drilling in their jurisdictions. Nice huh?
The oil and gas industry has a big presence in New Mexico and in the Roundhouse. It is remarkable that this profitable and powerful industry and its representatives portray themselves as beleaguered victims of New Mexico’s vaguely defined ‘unfriendly business climate’ - apparently the only climate worth caring about.