Friday, December 11, 2009

Las Vegas Optic, "County Moves Toward Oil and Gas Moratorium"

County moves toward oil and gas moratorium

By David Giuliani

The San Miguel County Commission has taken its first step toward setting a year-long moratorium on oil and gas drilling permits while it enacts new regulations.

On Tuesday, the commission voted unanimously to publish the proposed moratorium and seek public comment.

As it stands, the county has about a half page of regulations for oil and gas regulations. That’s from a land-use ordinance in 1986 that’s about an inch thick.

County officials say they want a more detailed ordinance specific to oil and gas drilling. This is after oil and gas companies have taken steps toward drilling in Santa Fe and Mora counties.

No requests for permits for oil and gas drilling are pending before San Miguel County.

County Attorney Jesus Lopez said the current ordinance “very summarily and very scantily” addresses the issue of oil and gas permits, including the effects on water availability, the terrain and the environment. More>>>

The importance of public comment on this proposed moratorium cannot be stressed enough. If you send comments via mail, be sure to send them by registered mail so it has to be signed for. This insures that your comments will go on the record. I will post more information about the process of making comments on the proposed moratorium as I learn more. Click here to go to the San Miguel County Website.