Thanks to one of our allies for creating this video which explains HB286.
One of the pro-conservation bills CVNM supports this session is HB286 Oil & Gas Financial Assurance (Chasey/Sanchez) which will, if passed, update the penalties structure in the 1935 New Mexico Oil & Gas act for the first time in 78 years. If passed, HB286 will do a couple things.
Update the penalties structure: Just like in 1935, the operator could be fined $1,000 a day for a violation or $1,000 a day for an ongoing violation. That year, $1,000 was equivalent to 2,500 barrels of oil. Today, that’s equivalent to 10 barrels and we’re talking about one of the most profitable industries on the planet. This bill would raise penalties to similar rates in neighboring states.
Unreasonable standard: Still remaining from the 1935 bill is that a company cannot be fined unless the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) proves a violation was committed knowingly and willfully. That would be like allowing the Department of Health to fine an eatery only after it proves the eatery with rats in its kitchen intentionally allowed them into the establishment. HB286 would remove this unreasonable standard.
The bill is scheduled to be heard in House Energy and Natural Resources Committee this Friday, Feb. 8th at 8 am in Room 309.
HB286 will be a great step forward in protecting our precious water supplies, especially now in a time of extreme drought.
Interested in attending the hearing? Let us know! Contact us by emailing Liliana at Liliana@cvnm.org.