Last year, representatives of New Mexico’s oil industry met behind closed doors with the very groups with which they typically clash — state regulators and environmentalists — in search of an answer to the more than 70,000 wells sitting unplugged across the state. Many leak oil, brine and toxic or explosive gasses, and more than 1,700 have already been left to the public to clean up.

The situation is so dire that oil companies agreed to help try to find a solution.

After months of negotiations, the state regulators who ran the meetings emerged with a proposal that they hoped would appease everyone in the room. The bill would instruct drillers to set aside more money to plug their wells, authorize regulators to block risky sales to companies that would be unlikely to afford to clean up their wells and implement a buffer zone between wells and hospitals, schools, homes and other buildings.

The industry, unhappy with the state’s final language, turned against the bill it helped shape.

The influential New Mexico Oil and Gas Association told its supporters that HB 133 was “a radical and dangerous approach designed to strangle the oil and gas industry” and asked them to send their elected representatives a form letter opposing it. If passed, the trade group proclaimed, the bill would “Destroy New Mexico.” The Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico, which represents small oil companies, called the bill “overzealous.”

  • anon6789@lemmy.world
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    18 days ago

    How any business or their associates have a say in the final regulation and enforcement of that regulation on themselves seems antithetical, and we see it fail over and over from oil companies, the police, chemical manufacturers, mining and logging industries, and so on.

    They don’t leave us to write ourselves traffic tickets or fine ourselves for zoning violations, because that would be an idiotic approach. Suddenly when it comes to business and industry, it magically makes sense then? Some things I’ll never understand…

  • Optional@lemmy.world
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    18 days ago

    People used to say big oil was bad. That it would end up destroying the environment and maybe even all life as we know it.
    They still say that, but they used to, too.