Bill Takes Aim At NM Oil And Gas Rules

New Mexico – A legislator from New Mexico's oil and natural gas country is taking aim at state rules that govern drilling operations.

Republican Rep. Tom Taylor of Farmington wants to rescind New Mexico's so-called pit rule, which outlines the use of pits for onsite waste disposal at drill pads. The rule also regulates below-grade tanks and closed loop systems.

The industry blames the pit rule in part for a slowdown of drilling activity in New Mexico and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenues.

Taylor's legislation says the rule has no scientific basis and doesn't provide any environmental benefit.

Oil Conservation Division director Mark Fesmire disputes those claims. He says the rule is needed to protect New Mexico's groundwater.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.