Bill Would Let New Mexico State Agency Impose Steeper Penalties for Oil Spills
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
A Senate panel approved a bill Thursday that would make it easier for state regulators to fine oil and natural gas producers for spills and other environmental violations. The bill, which advanced along party lines, follows years of sharp increases in the volume of spills involved in oil and gas production, and comes as major companies like ExxonMobil and Halliburton have shown a surge of interest in the Permian Basin of southeast New Mexico.
Democrats and environmental advocacy groups say the measure would give teeth to an agency they describe as defanged by a 2009 court ruling that stripped away some of its authority to impose penalties.
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