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N.M. Governor Extends Drilling Ban In One Basin

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Gov. Bill Richardson on Tuesday extended a state oil and gas drilling moratorium on the Galisteo Basin by six months to give government agencies more time to protect water aquifers and archaeological and cultural resources.

The order means the Oil Conservation Division will not process or grant applications for oil and gas drilling permits in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin through Jan. 24.

The current ban would have expired July 24.

Among other things, Richardson’s executive order directs various agencies to investigate adopting air quality regulations to guard against drilling impacts, to analyze fresh water supplies in the basin and to survey cultural resources in the area.

The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department recommended the extension.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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