The Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Act was created in 1963. It established the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and since that time the Commission has undergone several changes in its make up.
In 1963, the Idaho Legislature passed House Bill 168, the Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Act. It reads, “There is hereby created an Oil and Gas Conservation Commission of the State of Idaho consisting of the Idaho Bureau of Mines and Geology.”
Idaho has made efforts to reform its government structure several times since 1919, generally focusing on improving the efficiency of government by reorganizing the executive branch and examining state expenditures. In the early 1970s, the Idaho Legislature made changes that affected all state agencies including the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (Commission).
In 1973, the Legislative Executive Reorganization Commission recommended restructuring the Idaho executive branch on the heels of the 1972 Constitutional amendment, which limited the number of executive agencies in Idaho to 20. As a result, the Idaho Legislature approved Senate Bill 1302 (Reorganization Act of 1974) which reorganized state government, including the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. It provided “that the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission shall consist of the State Board of Land Commissioners.”
The Commission structure was changed in 2013 with the passage of Senate Bill 1049. It created a Commission comprised of five individuals appointed by the Governor.
The Commission changed structure again in 2017 with the passage of House Bill 301 as amended. The Commission was comprised of the Idaho Department of Lands Director, a county commissioner from a county where oil and gas was being produced or had been produced within the past ten years, and three Governor-appointed technical experts who are each required to have a college degree in geosciences or engineering and at least ten years of experience in the oil and gas industry.
The Administrator of the Oil and Gas Division within the Idaho Department of Lands was to serve as the secretary to the Commission.
In 2023, House Bill 120 changed the Commission structure again as follows: a county commissioner from a county where oil and gas is being produced or have been produced within the last ten years, and four Governor-appointed members. One member shall be knowledgeable in oil and gas matters and shall have a college degree in geosciences or engineering and at least five years of experience in the oil and gas industry. One member shall be a mineral interest owner without an oil and gas lease in a county where oil and gas have been produced. One member shall be a resident of Idaho knowledgeable in land use matters and shall have at least five years’ experience in land use matters.