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New Oil & Gas Board In the Works

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho may set up a new board to oversee its emerging oil and natural gas industry, a bid to put more-knowledgeable people with fewer conflicts of interest in charge.  The Idaho Statesman reports the Department of Lands is drafting the proposal for the 2013 Legislature. Currently, members of the Idaho Land Board, including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, regulate the industry. A new board would include five governor-appointed members, with each representative familiar with various industry aspects: oil and gas extraction, geology, water — as well as landowners with and without mineral leases. The oil and gas industry is giving its tentative thumbs-up to the effort. Environmentalists who this year fought changes to oil-and-gas industry rules were initially receptive, too, contending the existing system is rife with conflicts of interest.

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