Friday, February 5, 2010

Susana Martinez running for Governor by bashing the Santa Fe County Oil and Gas Ordiance & the OCD Pit Rule?

NM’s energy industry is crucial to future growth

"But the troubling actions on the part of the current administration (Richardson) do not stop there. They have sent mixed signals to the industry and changed the rules in the middle of the game. For example, those interested in exploration in the Galisteo Basin complied with every state regulation – only to face roadblocks erected by Santa Fe County and supported by the Richardson/Denish administration.

Not only does that have the obvious negative impact on exploration and development, but it also undermines the state’s credibility with the business community when its word cannot be trusted.

These anti-business policies were driven by extreme special-interest groups and had little to no basis in fact. In essence, the Richardson/Denish administration killed New Mexico jobs and reduced funding for our schools in order to satisfy the narrow ideology of special interests.

And while, like on so many other issues, Diane Denish will try to claim distance from the administration’s actions, it is important that voters understand that certain members of the Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) are appointed by the executive branch and responsible for many of the state’s regulations, such as the pit rule. In turn, they report to the governor and lieutenant governor, not the Legislature or anyone else.

The folks who have held sway over both the OCC and the environmental department have been long-time Denish friends and supporters."

There seems to be confusion of facts in the opinion piece, in addition to Santa Fe County standing up to protects its citizens and resources, Rio Arriba County adopted an oil and gas ordinance and San Miguel County adopted a one year oil and gas drilling moratorium in order to draft an oil and gas ordinance.

As fragile ecosystems are targeted for oil and gas exploration and extraction that yield many adverse impacts, and as the legislature continually eviscerate the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) budget and effectiveness by maintaining the current antiquated OCD fining system, local authority will have to step in to protect the public heath, safety and welfare. The drafting and adoption of the Santa Fe County Oil and Gas Ordinance was based on a lengthy process that included a consulting attorney, a consulting land use firm, and oil and gas experts. So this begs the question, is local authority to be denied by the State? And is the protection of water, land, air, wildlife, public health and safety, cultural resources, and existing local economics the "ideology of fringe, special interest groups"?

As for, "I will ensure that the regulatory process is one driven by facts and evidence, not by political winds." Really? She just politicized it in this opinion piece.

For link to the article, click here>>>>

As for the Pit Rule issue, see the following post:

Oil Patch Times: 2009 economics

As for ennobling the oil and gas industry, see the following post:

Gallagher's out as NMOGA president

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