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Eye On Boise

Washington County passes own drilling ordinance; sets up fight with state

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Leaders in Washington County now have a new set of rules that require energy companies to get local approval before drilling for natural gas or building refineries. The Idaho Statesman reports that the rules adopted by county commissioners Monday also impose bonding requirements on oil and gas projects. Officials acknowledge the new rules likely conflict with legislation making its way through the Idaho Legislature. Last week, a House committee approved a bill that gives the state much of the regulatory authority over the industry; that measure could come up shortly for a debate and vote in the full House. County officials have been working on new rules for more than a year in response to growing industry activity in the region. In 2010, a company reported promising discoveries of gas reserves in Payette County — and since then drilling has expanded into Washington County. You can read the Statesman's full report here from reporter Rocky Barker.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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