Senate Passes Drilling Bill That Strips Local Authority

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A measure that would allow the State of Idaho to trump local authority when it comes to granting permits for oil and gas drilling is one signature away from becoming law.

The Idaho Senate voted this morning to pass oil and gas industry-sponsored House Bill 464, in spite of some lawmakers' attempts to amend the legislation.

"Our economy depends upon us extracting these natural resources," said Boise Republican Sen. Mitch Toryanksi, in last week's effort to amend the measure. "But I think this bill can be improved."

But instead of offering any changes, New Plymouth Republican Sen. Monty Pearce pushed the bill back on the Senate's agenda and it passed on a 24-10 vote. The bill, already passed by the Idaho House, heads to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter for his signature.

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