Here we are, at the precipice of hard realities. To say that the Oil & Gas Industry is entrenched in New Mexico and has a tight grip on our Legislature is the understatement of our times. On one hand we see Hydraulic Fracturing corporations clenching their fists on our state legislative body, and on the other hand, we have front-line communities fed up with being the collateral damage and losses in the cost of doing business for an industry that has done more than their share of rigging energy and public policy.
People on the front-lines of the Fracking industry and its impacts are educated and engaged in addressing the negatives, such as air and water quality, but also things like the infrastructure to deal with the high volume of fracking that is happening in New Mexico. They are rising up against Fracking, and they’re saying, ‘Enough! It’s time to get control of the things we hold dear, before all is lost; like our clean air, water and the right to preserve the legacy of our beautiful landscapes, sacred spaces and ancient civilizations.’ It doesn’t matter whether these spaces are down south in the gaze of the majestic Organ Mountains or in the vast and mysterious Greater Chaco Canyon. We all know the huge responsibilities and obligations we have to our children and the generations to come.
This is an urgent call to action to ensure our voices are heard by our elected leaders here in New Mexico and by our federal government. Here are two important things we must do now:
1. Oppose BLM Sell Off of More Sacred Lands
During the 35-day government shutdown, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was working behind the scenes to advance the March 2019 lease sale of close to 11,000 acres in New Mexico, including over 10,000 more acres in northwestern New Mexico’s Greater Chaco region. As vital government services came to a grinding halt, which had a direct impact on communities living in the Greater Chaco region, the BLM outrageously catered to the needs of the oil and gas industry.
Please Take Action and Add a Comment Opposing the March Lease Sale
The BLM only allowed the public 10 days to protest the lease sale of more public and ancestral tribal lands in the Greater Chaco region and in southeast New Mexico’s Greater Carlsbad Caverns region.You have until February 19th to submit your comment. The Frack Off Greater Chaco Coalition will be printing and hand delivering your comments to the BLM on February 20th. Tell the BLM #NoNewLeases
2. Pause Fracking For Protections
An interesting thing happened during this legislative session. It turns out that while the Governor is signing Executive Orders to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 45% by the year 2030, our state officials have no idea what the foundation of greenhouse gas emissions is at the current moment. How could they? You have to do the math and in order to do the math, you need to know the numerator and denominator of the equation. They don’t have all the numbers. In all the history of the Oil & Gas Industry in the State of New Mexico, there has never been an impact study on the many issues that the industry affects. Pretty shocking, right? We thought so too.
Luckily for us, we have a few Climate Justice Advocates in the New Mexico Senate. Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Benny Shendo started asking the right questions and took up this project on behalf of several Citizen Action Communities that are on the front-lines of the fracking industry. The senators have premised this new bill on the basis of the New Mexico State Constitution’s, Section 20 on the issues of duties and responsibilities of the legislative body to ensure the health and safety of the land, air, water, landscapes, resources and the health & welfare of the people. Here are the kinds of questions, the State of New Mexico was asked:
1. What does the State of New Mexico know about fracking in New Mexico? Not much.
2. Do you know what percentage of new drilling permits are for industrialized fracking in New Mexico? Neither does the State of New Mexico. Nor does it know what impacts the practice of multi-stage drilling and hydraulic fracturing is having on our public health, our land, our air, or our water.
The science has shown how dangerous fracking can be, but the State of New Mexico currently knows next to nothing about it. Our question is, ‘How do our legislators begin to make wise decisions and vote on public energy policy that can have such huge ramifications to the people and land, when they don’t know the facts about Fracking?
In a perfect world, we would end fracking today. At this moment in time, we are forced to accept this dirty and unsustainable business model, and if that is the case, we must demand responsible regulation and accountability of the industry. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham promised accountability to us when she ran for office and we are asking the legislature to fulfill their duties as sworn representatives in our governing body and ensure that the governor has the opportunity to fulfill her campaign promises.
Senate Bill 459 and Senate Bill 592 allow us to finally learn the truth about fracking and ensure the public safety of our water going forward.
Take Action below and submit a letter encouraging lawmakers to enact a pause on new permits and the safety of New Mexico’s drinking and farming water so that we have time to write appropriate regulations and safety measures. Ask them to please #PauseOnFracking.