News Oil & Gas

NM bill seeks to ban freshwater in oil and gas, penalize spills

New Mexico’s upcoming 2021 Legislative Session could see dramatic changes in how the state regulates oil and gas operations, one of its most lucrative industries.

State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-16) of Bernalillo County pre-filed a Senate bill that could make sweeping changes to New Mexico’s Oil and Gas Act, which provides primary guidance on how the state regulates and overseeing extraction of fossil fuels.

The bill would add multiple new clauses to the act, relating to use of water in the industry as the use of hydraulic fracturing or fracking led numerous booms in operations and state revenue in recent years.

New Mexico Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-16)

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It could also alter how the state responds to spills of oil and other materials related to extraction, increasing penalties and seeking to strengthen compliance with state law, while also generating funds to support efforts to track oil and gas activities and the compositions of materials such as produced water when they are released into the environment.

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