Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peak Oil: State Land Office mistakenly offers leases in areas near White Peak for oil and gas drilling

Santa Fe Reporter
By Alexa Schirtzinger on May 27th, 2010

"Yesterday, New Mexico Wildlife Federation Director Jeremy Vesbach told SFR that State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons was planning to open up lands near the scenic but embattled White Peak area to oil and gas development. Vesbach called it “a violation of [Lyons] January promise not to lease the white’s peak [sic] area” and illustrated his point with maps (after the jump).

Good thing he noticed. State Land Office spokeswoman Kristin Haase says Lyons didn’t actually know that the 20,000 acres in Mora and Colfax counties that were up for lease sale on June 15 included a 1,000-acre tract close to White Peak.

“Frankly, we’re not really sure how that [got] through, because the Commissioner has said he doesn’t want to lease land in the vicinity of White Peak for oil and gas development,” Haase tells SFR. “We’re a little concerned about how that got through.”

Haase says Lyons pulled leases for the 1,000 acres closest to White Peak “when as we found out.” How’d they find out? Yesterday, from Vesbach, who got a tip from Las Vegas resident Pat Leahan.

“We’re concerned about the oil and gas industry, and we’re concerned about the White Peak land swap,” Leahan tells SFR. “That has a lot of us at the grassroots level keeping an eye on White Peak.” When a colleague of Leahan’s found the leases, she asked the Wildlife Federation for help in mapping out where they’d be. Here are the maps NMWF made:" (see post:

State Land Office White Peak Exploratory Oil and Gas Leases Auction

For more of the SFR article, click here>>>>

No comments:

Post a Comment