The law, effective July 1, requires that companies notify landowners 30 days prior to drilling-related operations, describe in detail what will go on and propose an agreement covering compensation for the use of _ and any damages to _ the landIt goes further:
Landowners would have 20 days to accept or reject the agreement. If no agreement was reached, operators would have to post a bond before drilling wells. The law also requires reclamation of the property. Richardson said the new law shows that New Mexico is "an energy producer with sensitivity to the land and property rights and property owners." "We consider it to be the strongest landowner bill in the country," said Gwen Lachelt, director of the Oil and Gas Accountability Project, a Colorado-based advocacy organization for landowners that participated in the negotiations.This is a serious boon for New Mexico and private property owners within our state. It also highlights an important aspect of Bill Richardson - his ability to bring parties together to broker serious agreements that benefit consumers but also allow for the continuity of economic and resource development. The article continues to highlight some of the major benefits that surface-owners recieve:
...New Mexico's law is notable for the extensive information that must be provided the landowner, the scope of damages that can be recovered _ for loss of agricultural income, or loss of land value, for example _ and for the reclamation requirement, she said. The new law also allows landowners to collect triple damages in court under some circumstances if operators enter land to drill wells without giving notice or having agreements or posting bonds. Gallagher described the legislation as fair and balanced and said it wouldn't impede production. He said companies already are doing much of what the new law requires.Since you can't take at face value that all drilling operations will just naturally play by the rules, it is imperative that we create standards and regulations that create a fairer playing field for the entire operation. Richardson for President - it just makes sense. If you want someone with a history of building serious consumer and environmental protection and also creating economic opportunity then he is your candidate.