Thursday, January 24, 2008

Governor Richardson Issues Executive Order Imposing a Six Month Moratorium on New Oil and Gas Drilling in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin

Press Release:

SANTA FE - Governor Richardson today issued an Executive Order imposing a six-month moratorium on new oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin. The moratorium will allow more time for government agencies to gather information and formulate public policy to protect water aquifers, archeological and cultural resources, and wildlife in this ecologically fragile area.

"Places like the Galisteo Basin must be fully evaluated and understood before any new oil and gas drilling moves forward,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “Ground water, archeological, cultural and wildlife areas must be protected.”

The Oil Conservation Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department shall temporarily suspend the processing and granting of applications for permits to drill for oil and gas in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin.

The New Mexico Energy, Mineral and Natural Resources Department, the New Mexico Department of Indian Affairs, the New Mexico Environment Department, the Office of the State Engineer, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and other executive agencies are instructed to conduct an assessment of all existing laws, regulations, policies, and planning documents to ensure that no oil and gas drilling activity occurs in Santa Fe County and the Galisteo Basin that would be detrimental to the interests of the State of New Mexico and its citizens.

“Careful examination of the Galisteo Basin is warranted,” said Joanna Prukop, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. “More time to gather information on this ecologically fragile and resource-rich area will ensure proper protection of human health, the environment, and water.”

Executive Agencies affected by this Executive Order shall report to Office of the Governor and the Secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department no later than June 24, 2008.


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