State regulators consider revisions to oil, gas rules

State regulators consider revisions to oil, gas rules by Staci Matlock, May 12, 2012, The New Mexican
“Oil and gas drilling and production are very destructive to the land. There’s no way around that when you consider the roads, pipelines, pits and well pads needed. This land just doesn’t recover easily from that.” Drilling oil and gas wells also requires chemicals to break open rock deep underground and release the hydrocarbons. Waste fluids and mud from drilling and production can be toxic. Stored in unlined pits, the fluids can seep down through soil into shallow aquifers. Open pits can overflow, contaminating soil and waterways nearby. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service notes open waste pits endanger birds, bats, deer and other wildlife. In 2002, Schreiber and two other ranchers shut off access to oil and gas companies temporarily to highlight their concerns. By 2005, Oil Conservation Division staff had tallied more than 800 cases of oil and gas waste contaminating groundwater around the state. … “I’m not saying industry isn’t doing their job. I’m saying it is a big, heavy, brutal industry. When you live with it, it changes your mind.”

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