Whether it is welcomed or not, Idaho is in the business of producing its own crude oil and natural gas. Since this is a new development, our state does not have a lot of experience regulating these industries. As these new developments are in their infancy, it’s important that regulations are put into place so that oil and gas companies aren’t able to take advantage of hard-working Idahoans, harm our land, or put property owners at risk.

House Bill 301, and accompanying Senate Bill 1099, are good first steps in ensuring that Idaho’s oil and gas companies work for Idahoans, not just big companies. The bills are based on legislation that has been passed in other states with well-established oil industries. They require transparency and protect property rights from oil and gas companies by instituting careful regulations and penalties aimed at industry operations. Additionally, the proposals will create a new commission, headed by a new department administrator with at least ten years of experience managing oil and gas operations.

Legislation like this is extremely important to implement. Building a regulatory framework for this young industry will protect our state for years to come, which is why I support HB 301.