Reader View: Mora County’s drilling battle matters

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Cheryl James posted at 1:04 pm on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    Cherijames Posts: 1

    Fracking doesn't necessarily bring jobs into the communities where the extraction is occurring. I come from the community outside of Montrose, PA where fracking was introduced and approved under the guise of creating more jobs and wealth. But in real-time practice only 10% of the jobs are going to locals with outside contractors coming in from places like TX and Oklahoma taking the jobs. There are other problems with the economy argument. For instance, many locals in Susquehanna County are now being pushed out of their own communities because of lack of affordable rents - because these are going to out sourced employees who are temporarily living in the area - and these contractors are sending their money earned out of the state. Fracking is an extraction and the economy it creates is an extraction economy. And what is left after all the gas is gone? Polluted aquifers, wells, and streams that will affect the agricultural resources of the region for hundreds of years in the future - all for a short - term "gain." Also, at issue is that Fracking corporations are paying widely different leasing and mineral extraction fees - from Government leases of $.25 an acre but the wealth these corporations gain is not proportional to the negative effects on local resources or even "gains' landowners may net which are minimal. And the strain on local resources if disasters happen - explosions or other catastrophes, who is ready?

  • Mary Vermillion posted at 12:00 pm on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    melvee42 Posts: 4

    I'm the land owner who owns .77 of an acre. I can assure you that there's no nefarious back story here about "who is actually behind" this lawsuit. Nor is the primary issue whether and/or how oil/gas development might come to Mora County. This lawsuit was filed in an effort to protect the constitutional rights we all take for granted. The back story is not BIG MONEY -- it's Thomas Linzey's pet theory that he wants to be in court arguing, and he's using Mora County as his guinea pig to get there.

    If county commissions or city councils or state legislatures or Congress can decide ad hoc which constitutional rights have application in their respective jurisdictions, don't kid yourself. The PEOPLE will have no say in determining how they live.

    If you think "the exact language" in the community rights ordinance comes right out of the New Mexico Constitution, you haven't read the ordinance in its entirety nor have you read the state Constitution in its entirety. It's not possible to reconcile these two documents with each other.

  • Joseph Hempfling posted at 9:55 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    joehempfling Posts: 417

    Basing the argument on the fact that a few land owners can disregard surrounding community issues such as water pollution, air quality, truck traffic etc is a very weak one indeed. In fact happen to know that one of the landowners in one of the Mora law suits owns less than 3/4 of an acre, raising the issue who is actually behind their suit ?
    And yes and as the title of the article implies; MORA COUNTY'S DRILLING BATTLE MATTERS because it is about who determines how we live; BIG MONEY or the PEOPLE themselves. It is democracy and self determination that is the real issue here and happen to know that the exact language in the Mora proposed Community Rights Ordinance comes right out of the New Mexico Constitution and which has been on the shelf gathering dust for much too long.

  • Trevor Burrowes posted at 9:47 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    Trevor Burrowes Posts: 60

    Thanks. Great points. And three cheers for John Olivas!

    This battle doesn't only affect Mora County. And it doesn't only affect fracking. For instance, using Lamy as a hub for oil trains is asking for the declining aquifer to be polluted. It only takes one spill to do that. Using a million gallons of county water yearly to abate dust from strip mining La Bajada Mesa under open ended drought conditions will also ensure our destruction. Gold mining in the Ortiz mountains will ensure arsenic pollution of our water. All three proposals are pending for Santa Fe County!

    There are many threats to our survival posed by the combination of climate-driven drought and a suicidal business paradigm. The planet is already reeling under the onslaught of industrial extraction of everything--oil, gas, minerals, marine life, water, gravel, etc. The corporate worldview is that the land (as with the people and creatures it supports) has no rights. It is merely stuff, merely a commodity.

    Native people have survived for thousands of years by understanding that the land is sacred and the mother of all life. So this is what we're up against everywhere in the world. Is the land just stuff to be dug up and razed to satisfy corporate "rights" or do the rights of people, animals and nature trump corporate rights to mine the entire planet?

  • Trevor Burrowes posted at 9:23 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    Trevor Burrowes Posts: 60

    The Nation Magazine filed the following report:

    Youth Are Taking the Government to Court Over Its Failure to Address Climate Change.

    "In an unprecedented federal court case that has made
    it to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, young people from
    California are suing the EPA and Departments of
    Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy and Defense
    under the historic public trust doctrine for failing to
    devise a climate change recovery plan."

    The suit is joined by Our Children's Trust of New Mexico.

    Those who are interested in stopping the madness of hydrocarbon extraction in a bone dry state might check out what they can do to support Our Children's Trust of New Mexico's law suit.

  • Vicki Farrar posted at 8:00 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    Tierradelcielo Posts: 5

    A lot of homeowners sue fracking companies. Usually there is an out of court settlement and a confidentiality agreement prevent the facts from being made public. The horrible facts of what happens when fracking occurs near your house have finally been made public when a Texas family won a lawsuit against Aruba Pretroleum for $3 million last month: http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/05/02/what-a-multi-million-dollar-lawsuit-could-mean-for-fighting-fracking-in-court/ The careful documentation, testing of their well, medical reports and the video undertaken by this family show the rest of us what is at stake when our neighbors decide to sell the mineral rights for their property and the mining companies come in to extract at all cost profits. Mora County is absolutely right to stop the profiteers who ruin our land, our water, our health, our well-being and then leave us with reduced property values and damaged health and peace of mind.

  • John Wilson posted at 6:40 am on Tue, May 6, 2014.

    John Wilson Posts: 31

    This voice of industry with a pretty face has given us some very important information. It is in reminding us who Mora County is up against. Mostly though the industry has couched some very obvious facts in a rather alarming way. The voice of industry said that sometimes local people stop industries from doing things that would let the industry make money. Well... yes we do. Bars are often prevented from opening next to schools. Explosive storage may be prohibited in residential areas. And so forth. Also the industry wants us to know that they feel a community protecting itself promotes ideas that the industry sees as radical. No surprises.


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