SB 413 would have limited the use of the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund for agency employee salaries. The bill provided that beginning in fiscal year 2023, 85% of the expenditures from the fund would be used to pay for contract services for plugging, remediation and restoration work.
SB 431 would have changed the Sale of Recycled Metals Act name to Recycled Metals Act. It would have caused dealers of recycled metals to renew licenses once each year instead of every three years, thereby regulating the business more carefully. It also would have put stronger requirements on metal recyclers for tracking regulated metals acquisitions. More recording would have equaled more accountability when it came to cleaning up the groundwater damage that frequently follows metal recyclers and scrapyards.
SB 435 would have required approval of water rights by the State Engineer prior to the use of the water right. This bill may have led to less oversubscribing of water rights.
HB 275 would have allowed state and local governments to enter into partnerships with private sector partners to facilitate public projects. This was a sweeping measure that would have privatized projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities such as water and sewage systems. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, water treatment, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.
HB 406 would have amended the Renewable Energy Act to include nuclear energy as a renewable energy source. Fissile material such as uranium is not a renewable resource, and its mining and use in nuclear-fueled power plants generates extremely toxic waste.
HB 472 would have preferentially prevented cattle growers from losing water rights if they didn’t use them and restricted the rights of State Engineer to come into possession of water rights that livestock growers possess. The bill would have also granted a right for ranchers to cross over any land necessary to access a water right, putting others’ private property rights at risk. This would have made it much more difficult for the State Engineer to acquire water rights from ranchers. CVNM opposed because of the preferential treatment of one class of water users and the significant negative impacts that cattle have on water quality and riparian zones.
SB 230 would have excluded fuel storage tanks used exclusively for crop dusting or crop spraying services from being considered “above ground storage” as defined by the Hazardous Waste Act. Above ground tanks pose a risk of leaks and spills that could endanger public health and safety.
SB 394 would have provided for county industrial revenue bonds within the Industrial Revenue Bond Act, and made changes to the list of projects that may be funded by these bonds. Significantly, it added mining projects and refineries, treatment plants or processing plants of energy products, subsidizing private for-profit and extractive industries with revenue bonds paid for by taxpayers.
SB 226 would have required public utilities to include water use efficiency in their integrated resource plans (IRP) in addition to other efficiencies and resources currently required to be included in the plans. It specified the analysis should include impacts to water quality.
SB 307 would have re-established administrative and civil penalty authority for the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) to pursue violations of the Oil and Gas Act that result in discharge of contaminants. This authority was lost in the Marbob Energy Corp. v. N.M. Oil Conservation Comm. case. The court determined that legislature needed to give the authority to OCD to collect these penalties, and that OCD could not grant the authority to itself. This bill would have addressed a clear need in OCD’s regulatory enforcement scheme.