San Miguel County rejects ban on gas, oil drilling

Posted at: 04/19/2013 1:55 PM
By: The Associated Press

 LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - San Miguel County apparently won't impose an outright ban on oil and gas extraction, but new restrictions on the industry may be in the offing.

According to the Las Vegas Optic, county commissioners appeared to agree during a meeting Tuesday that it's impractical to ban extraction outright.

However, commissioners directed county officials and their consultant to draft an ordinance with new restrictions and requirements on concerns such as water use, road damage and drilling waste.

The commission has had a moratorium on oil and gas exploration in the county for over three years, and the commission held four days of public hearings on the issue.

The industry's supporters say drilling provides jobs and other economic benefits, while critics say communities' well-being could be put at risk.

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