Among the many testifying on HB 464, the oil and gas development bill, this afternoon was Robert Patrick, a Washington County resident. “I'm not a member of a green group, a super environmentalist group or any preservationist group,” he told lawmakers. “I'm just a standard-issue Republican. This bill, if you go into it far enough, is nothing but a blatant attempt to circumvent certain aspects of the proposed state rules and regulations currently under legislative review. This legislation will take away local control, prevent me from being able to attend a public hearing.”
He said, “I find it appalling that the state of Idaho, who is so concerned about state rights against the federal government, will turn around and try to squelch the rights of their local citizens at the local level. When this industry develops, these people will be gone, and we will still be here. We have the right to be included when it's happening around us, and the right to be involved in the process to insure that our air and water is protected. I urge you not to support this legislation.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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