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Fracking and Groundwater: Mora County, New Mexico Bans Oil & Gas Drilling

fracking and groundwaterMora County, New Mexico is the first county in the country to ban drilling and fracking. They did it to protect their groundwater.  The new county ordinance also established a local Bill of Rights that confirms the county’s right to clean air and water, a healthy environment, and self governance.

According to E&E News (subscription required), County Commissioner John Olivas stated: “There are plenty of resources out there for natural gas. I don’t think it’s necessary for them to come into our community. Leave us alone. Let us enjoy what we have.”

Commissioner Alfonso Griego said “he supported the measure because he feels that federal and state laws fail to adequately protect communities from the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.” He also stated: “They just come in and do whatever is necessary for them to make profits. There is technology for them to do it right, but it’s going to cost them more money. They’re not willing to do that yet. So we don’t want any oil and gas extraction in the county of Mora. It’s beautiful here.”

I blogged about Mora County back in 2011, because they have a model program to conduct baseline water testing. Mora is clearly dedicated to protecting their clean water.

Dear Mora, enjoy and protect your clean air and clean water for as long as you can.

Amy Mall's picture

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Ronald Weedbaum's picture
Ronald Weedbaum on May 3, 2013 8:56 pm GMT

Thankfully not all counties are following Mora’s lead. If all counties were to do what Mora is doing, we would import all of our oil and gas at a cost of trillions.  The oil and gas that is produced in other countries is done so with far fewer regulations so at a greater cost to the environment.  We would also burn far more coal than we do now which would increase our greenhouse gas emissions and increase our air pollution enormously. You may see this as a brave stand but in a brighter light it is selfish and hypocritical. i am sure the good people of Mora are all happily using fossil fuels. Or maybe not happily but using them nonetheless. “Yes we want the benefits that oil and gas bring us,” they are saying, “but we want someone else to bear the costs.”

If we are really going to “relocalize” shouldn’t everyone that can have some local oil and gas production?

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