Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners Passes Emergency Interim Development Ordinance

From a Santa Fe County email:



Santa Fe – February 26, 2008 – The Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners has passed an emergency interim development ordinance that temporarily suspends the processing and granting of applications for permits to drill for oil and natural gas within the Galisteo Basin until February 28, 2009. The ordinance also empowers the Board to extend the prohibition for an additional 6 months, if necessary."

The vote on the emergency interim development ordinance was unanimous with a standing ovation for the Commissioners. There is a lot of work ahead, but today our community came together to protect our local resources. It is a proud moment.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Eggs, Sausage & Conservatism with US Rep. Steve Pearce Video

Eggs, Sausage & Conservatism with US Rep. Steve Pearce video (click here).

About the video: "Steve Pearce wants to succeed retiring US Sen. Pete Domenici in the US Senate, but first he has to win the GOP nomination. In this interview, Santa Fe Reporter staff writer David Alire Garcia questions Pearce on his energy, immigration and health care positions."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

State Senator Phil Griego calls for 12-month oil & gas drilling moratorium in Mora County

From the, "State Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, urged Mora County commissioners Tuesday to consider approving a 12-month moratorium on oil and gas drilling similar to one Santa Fe County has in place.

Griego also told residents at the meeting to "be cautious" with mineral leases. He said Mora County needs hydrologic and geologic studies before drilling is conducted.

"The Galisteo Basin has kicked open the door to Northern New Mexico," said Griego, who represents six Northern New Mexico counties."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Bruce Black, Geological Consultant to Tecton Energy, LLC

From the, "I've watched with concern the reaction of Santa Fe County to the attempts of Tecton to develop and explore their oil and gas leases in Santa Fe County. It appears to be an attempt to stop all future oil and gas production and probably all other future mineral exploration in the county." (click here for full story)

About Bruce Black, "Tecton Energy, LLC. announced today that it has retained Dr. Bruce Black under an exclusive long term agreement as a Geological Consultant, working on prospect development in the US and Canadian Rocky Mountains.

Dr. Black is a highly experienced exploration geologist." (click here for press release)

About the Rio Grande Rift, "The commercially successful Tecton Black - Ferrill #1, and subsequent activities, has opened a new oil and gas province in the Rio Grande Rift."(click here)

According to the Oil Conservation Division records, Black-Ferrill #1 is temporarily abandoned. (click here for the latest report at the bottom)

Drilling Mora County

From the, "Knute H. Lee Jr. had a pitch for the eastern Mora County residents who showed up Feb. 10 for a barbecue he hosted in the Ocate Community Center: Lease out your oil and gas mineral rights through his Albuquerque company, KHL Inc.

A total of 116 people from surrounding communities turned out to chow down on barbecued beef brisket, chicken and potato salad, and to hear Lee's proposition.

"Several people were opposed to leasing," said Ojo Feliz resident Rose Josefa, who attended the event. "Many were interested in how the royalty and rental system works. The rest were quiet but not very welcoming. I didn't get the sense that people were jumping up and down over his offer."' (click here for full article)

Also from the, "But here's the kicker for people who don't want to lease their mineral rights, such as Rose Josefa in Ojo Feliz. She might have no choice but to allow mineral extraction from under her land — although she could make some money from it.

One way is through forced pooling of mineral leases within a spacing unit. The state determines how many wells are allowed per spacing unit, Fesmire said. The spacing unit varies depending on the depth of the hydrocarbons, whether the well is for oil or gas, and whether the area is controlled by any special rules. In New Mexico, those units vary from 40 acres up to 320 acres. In California, spacing units are as small as one well per acre, according to the Oil and Gas Accountability Project, a nonprofit dedicated to educating property owners about hydrocarbon development.

If Josefa's property falls within the same spacing unit as neighbors who agree to lease their mineral rights, she can be forced to join in the well and the lease pool, Fesmire said."(click here for full article)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tecton Energy, LLC Threatens to Sue Santa Fe County

From the, "We are currently exploring our legal options to counter the actions being taken by the county and the state," Tecton's statement says. "They do not comply with state law. ... They ignore our company's legal right to pursue oil and gas operations in the area, and they violate federal and state law prohibiting takings of private property without just compensation." (click here for full article).

Takings? If Tecton were to begin drilling for gas and oil in the Galisteo Basin, the "takings" would be our groundwater aquifer, our property values, our health, our safety, the destruction of our cultural-historical archaeological heritage, our fiscal and economical engine, and be a public nuisance. Tecton is only leasing oil & gas minerals. Tecton has not demonstrated that there is viable oil & gas development in the Galisteo Basin from those leases. Tecton has not demonstrated that there would be "a huge blow to a key source of state revenue."

We have the right to protect our resources.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Emergency Interim Development Ordinance

On February 26, 2008, the Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners (BCC) will vote on an Emergency Interim Development Ordinance. The ordinance, which would prohibit development approvals for oil, gas and geo-thermal grading, drilling and extraction within the Galisteo Basin for twelve months and provide a six month extension. The Emergency Interim Development Ordinance would be in effect "until the adoption of a general plan amendment, a Galisteo Basin Area Plan, a capital improvement and public services program, creation of a special improvement district for the code addressing and resolving the health, safety, cultural-historical archaeological, fiscal, economic, planning, infrastructure and services, groundwater aquifer, environmental and public nuisance impacts of such grading and drilling."

The ordinance will be posted on the Santa Fe County website (click here) and there will be a map of the target area. The BCC would hire experts to discern the compatibility of oil & gas activity in the Galisteo Basin and to conduct baseline studies. The target area of the map can be expanded to other areas in Santa Fe County, if needed. The BCC has hired Dr. Robert H. Freilich (click here) as special counsel to help rewrite development codes.

According to the (click here), "Part of the process of developing these plans will be to conduct studies of these issues. Freilich said he will also use the draft ordinance already created by Ross, and results from studies of the Galisteo Basin area ordered by Richardson, to inform his own plans. He hopes to have a draft by November.

Freilich promised stakeholders would be included in every step of the planning process."

"Hauled It Away" by Kim Sorvig

Hauled It Away

(with apologies to John Prine & Woody Guthrie)

by Kim Sorvig

When I was a child, we lived near the mountains.
The place I grew up was in New Mexico.
Our house is still there, on the edge of a mesa,
but now only memories of a long time ago

Chorus: Daddy won’t you take me back to Santa Fe County,
to the mountains and mesas where paradise lay?
I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking --
Ten thousand tank trucks have hauled it away.

Sometimes we’d hike on down the arroyo
to the ruins of a pueblo beside an old spring.
My grandfather taught me the Indians loved nature.
My mom just said Johnny, now don’t touch a thing.

The oil companies came with a thousand huge oil rigs,
polluted the water and tortured the land.
Drilled for their oil till the land was deserted
and wrote it all down to the progress of man.

My dad tried to stop them, they took him to prison.
They took all the money he’d made in his life.
My mom she got sick from drinking well-water
and breathing the gas fumes she took down and died.

Daddy won’t you take me back to Santa Fe County,
to the mountains and mesas where paradise lay?
I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking --
Ten thousand oil trucks have hauled it away.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

"Drilling Albuquerque" and other articles

From the January 31 - February 6, 2008, "Drilling Albuquerque" (click here):
"Tecton knew it could expect controversy by looking for oil near Santa Fe. “Without tooting our horn,” says Dirks, “we did our homework. We spent months meeting with state and county government officials. The initial reception we received was quite favorable. Most people expressed some amount of support and/or curiosity. We didn’t encounter anyone who said ‘No! And go away forever!’ ”

Dirks says the company worked closely with the county to figure out the best way to introduce the project to the public, which resulted in two public meetings at the end of 2007 in Santa Fe County. "At those meetings we began to get a new perspective on how vigorously this would be opposed.”

Great video at YouTube - "Hardrock Minining - Re-think; Reform" (click here).

High Country News, "Time to call the gas industry's bluff" (click here):
"This year, Rifle, Colo., the epicenter of a $2 billion-a-year gas play, will receive less than $500,000 in state severance taxes, a pittance given the tens of millions the city must invest to deal with the social and infrastructure impacts caused by the gas industry.

The citizens of Colorado have no control over whether we get gouged at the gasoline pump. But we do have the power to insist that an industry this large and profitable pay its fair share."