Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday introduced a proposal that could effectively end a decades-long squabble over development of oil and natural gas in an area that makes up the nation's greatest potash reserve.
Oil and gas developers and the companies going after potash—the key ingredient in fertilizers—have been locked in a series of legal disputes over development of the resources for years. The concern has centered on contamination of the resources and mining safety.
"At stake here are tens of thousands of jobs in southeastern New Mexico in the oil and gas industry as well as thousands of jobs in the potash industry," Salazar said. "And importantly, both of those industries are part of the energy and mineral security of the United States."
Salazar's draft order would establish a program for identifying areas where development can happen safely. Buffer zones would be established to allow oil and gas drillers to go after the fossil fuels without compromising potash deposits. . .View Full Article