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Overhaul of Idaho oil and gas laws includes new commission

A revamped commission overseeing Idaho’s natural gas and oil industry and a beefed up state agency to aid that effort emerged from this year’s Legislative session along with more extensive reporting requirements for oil companies.

The sweeping new laws and rules are a major course change for Idaho as expected windfalls of oil and gas money to state coffers and landowners have failed to happen despite several years of production.

The new Oil and Gas Conservation Commission that starts this summer replaces mostly citizen commissioners with three industry experts, an elected county commissioner and the director of the Idaho Department of Lands.

Lawmakers also enacted laws for the industry that will require Texas-based Alta Mesa, the state’s lone producer, to reveal more information about its wells and business operations.

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