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Eye On Boise

Tue., Sept. 20, 2011, 8:51 a.m.

Idaho officials mull ‘all new’ oil, gas issues…

Idaho's Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, which consists of the members of the state Land Board - the state's top elected officials - voted this morning to set the levy on all oil and gas produced in Idaho at the maximum level currently allowed by law, 0.5 percent per barrel of oil or per 50,000 cubic feet of gas. But it also noted that the Department of Lands is preparing legislation to propose to lawmakers in January to increase that levy to 1.5 percent and raise application fees. The panel also discussed granting regulatory authority to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to oversee "gathering pipelines," which are lines used to transport raw gas from the well head to the treatment plant and from the treatment plant to the main pipeline. Gov. Butch Otter said the board needs to be kept informed. "This thing is moving so fast ... and it's all new to us - it's new to me," he said.

If the state chooses to assume oversight of regulatory safety jurisdiction for these types of gas pipelines, it would require legislation in the next session.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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