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Eye On Boise

Posts tagged: oil and gas

New fracking rules approved after much testimony for and against…

After a hearing that stretched for more than an hour and a half and saw extensive testimony both for and against, Idaho's Oil & Gas Conservation Commission has voted unanimously to approve new rules for development of crude oil and natural gas resources in Idaho, including “fracking,” or hydraulic fracturing. Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who was presiding in place of Gov. Butch Otter, abstained from the vote because of pending negotiations regarding possible gas drilling on his land. The state Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, which consists of the members of the state Land Board, approved temporary rules for gas drilling, including the controversial practice, in April; today's vote marked final approval, though lawmakers still will review the rules during their legislative session that starts in January. You can see the full 22-page rule here.

Supporters of the new rules said they'd promote jobs; opponents said they threaten clean water in the state. Boise Weekly reporter George Prentice has posted a full report here, and you can read Rocky Barker's full report here in the Idaho Statesman.

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.

New lands chief could help Idaho tap into gas revenues

Idaho's new state lands director has lots of experience in Montana managing oil and gas revenues from state trust lands, reports Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker, which should come in handy as Idaho begins to look at potential revenues from natural gas on its state endowment lands. Barker reports that Montana's revenues from oil and gas on state trust lands jumped more than 200 percent, or $20 million, between 2005 and 2006, in part due to prices and in part to the new fracking technology. You can read his full post here.

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About this blog

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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