BOISE, Idaho -- Local governments' authority over oil and natural gas drilling in Idaho would be curtailed under a bill that has passed the House.
The 54-13 vote Friday by lawmakers moves forward the industry-sponsored bill that gives only the state the power to regulate new oil and gas production.
Recent discoveries in western Idaho have local residents and governments near reserves concerned about the industry's potential expansion. Officials in Washington County began crafting their own rules to regulate the industry in response.
The Spokesman-Review reports that Lava Hot Springs Rep. Ken Andrus favors the measure. He says regulation and responsibility over the resource, which has been a boon to other states, belongs with the state.
Boise Rep. Grant Burgoyne worries that local governments will have no recourse to prevent intrusive drilling.