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New Mexico constitution focus of legal fight over oil and gas drilling

KEYT

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The nation’s No. 2 oil-producing state is being sued over its alleged failure to meet constitutional provisions meant to protect against pollution from the industry. A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit Wednesday in New Mexico district court, marking the first time the state constitution’s pollution-control clause has been the basis of such a legal claim. The 1971 amendment mandates that New Mexico prevent the despoilment of air, water and other natural resources. The challenge comes as New Mexico rides a wave of record revenue from development in the Permian Basin, currently one of the world’s most productive collection of oil fields.

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