Friday, April 23, 2010

Letter: A defining time for the area (San Miguel County NM)

Las Vegas Optic

April 23, 2010
By Aravis Kurtiz

"What happened to the “balance” in the San Miguel County Oil and Gas Task Force?

As a citizen of Mora County who has been dealing with the issue of oil and gas development, I was surprised at the selections made for the task force. I believe many of us are wondering, what was the selection criteria? As it stands, the task force is comprised mostly of oil and gas industry representatives and people who make a profit from oil and gas royalties. There is no balance. There are no educated community activists who are pro-regulation to counter the weight of industry’s voice.

Given the circumstances, it is vital that the oil and gas task force meetings be transparent and open to the public, but will they? San Miguel County can come away from this experience with regulations similar to those in Santa Fe County, a comprehensive and protective ordinance that addresses the many risks of drilling. Or, they can settle for an oil and gas ordinance like the one in Rio Arriba County which is weak and lacks proper protection for the county and its citizens.

This is a defining time for Mora and San Miguel counties, a fork in the road that will determine the future of our water, land and health for generations to come. It is time we came together to act in our own best interests, not the interests of the oil and gas industry. I am not against oil and gas development. I am for clean water, breathable air, health, agricultural development, and the protection that is necessary for those things to continue existing.

Aravis Kurtiz

Northern New Mexico Conservation Project "

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