New Mexico County is First in the Nation to Ban all Drilling and Fracking
By John Upton /

Mora County, N.M., has a message for the oil and gas industry: “You’re not welcome here.”

County commissioners voted 2-1 on Monday to ban all oil and gas extraction in their drought-ravaged county near Santa Fe, home to fewer than 5,000 people. A temporary drilling moratorium is already in place in neighboring San Miguel County, but it is believed that Mora County is the first in the nation to impose an outright ban on all oil and gas drilling.


From E&E Newsvia NRDC:

Commissioner Alfonso Griego said “he supported the measure because he feels that federal and state laws fail to adequately protect communities from the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.” He also stated: “They just come in and do whatever is necessary for them to make profits. There is technology for them to do it right, but it’s going to cost them more money. They’re not willing to do that yet. So we don’t want any oil and gas extraction in the county of Mora. It’s beautiful here.”

Any detractors? Oh, yeah, here’s an industry guy saying things to the AP:

Wally Drangmeister, a spokesman for the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, said the potential of the natural gas deposits in the area may never be known if exploration isn’t allowed and that could result in lost revenues for the county, as well as the rest of New Mexico.

The county commissioners also adopted a bill of rights that asserts Mora County’s right to block drilling, even if the state or federal governments try to allow it. Again from the AP:

In addition to putting the county off limits to oil and gas development, the ordinance establishes a bill of rights aimed at affirming the county’s right to local autonomy and self-governance.

The ordinance states that any permits or licenses issued by either the federal or state government that would allow activities that would compromise the county’s rights would be considered invalid.

“This is the fight that people have been too chicken to pick over the last 10 years, which is essentially deciding who makes decisions about the future of the places where we live,” said Thomas Linzey, executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. “Either it’s the people who live there or it’s the corporations that have an interest in exploiting them. It’s very basic.”

Congratulations, Mora County. May you continue to conserve and enjoy your precious groundwater supplies and clean environment.

John Upton is a science aficionado and green news junkie who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants:

0.0 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 29,308 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
For Those Who Don't Want to Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils
Peter White · 16,041 views today · Ranked-choice voting is catching on, and Maine might become the first state to help citizens vote for candidates they actually want.
10 Quotes From an Oglala Lakota Chief That Will Make You Question Everything About Our Society
Wisdom Pills · 10,468 views today · Luther Standing Bear was an Oglala Lakota Sioux Chief who, among a few rare others such as Charles Eastman, Black Elk and Gertrude Bonnin occupied the rift between the way of...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 10,409 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Anarchists - What We Stand For
unknown · 10,371 views today · Anarchism : The word “anarchy” comes from Greek and means “no rulers”. As a political philosophy, anarchism is based on the idea that organization does not require rulers—that...
HyperNormalisation (2016)
161 min · 8,738 views today · We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless...
Donald and Hobbes Is Genius
Various · 4,997 views today · Some clever folk have been replacing precocious 6-year-old Calvin, from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, with Donald Trump and the results are, well, take a look...
Our Obsession With 'Good Immigrants' Breeds Intolerance
2 min · 3,744 views today · Society sets the bar so high to become a 'good immigrant', argues writer Nikesh Shukla, that normal immigrants are demonised. He says non-Brits in the public eye have a simple...
My Cuba - An Intimate Look at the Pleasures and Struggles of 6 Different People's Cuba
150 min · 1,988 views today · Cuba - diverse, vibrant and complex - is undergoing immense change. But what does it mean to be Cuban in this time of change? Six people. Six films. From the comedy and ballet...
Bird Watching on Lesvos Island - A Poetic Call to Stand With Refugees
3 min · 1,960 views today · Born in Darfur, Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Emi Mahmoud is the 2015 World Poetry Slam Champion and the Women of the World co-Champion of 2016. From a young age Emi...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,872 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Important Difference Between Love and Being Loved
2 min · 1,567 views today · We talk of love as if it were just one thing: in fact, it’s two very different moves, Loving and Being Loved. You start to grow up when you stop focusing on the latter and get...
Planet Earth II Could Be Best Nature Doc Ever Made
3 min · 1,334 views today · 10 years ago Planet Earth changed our view of the world. Now we take you closer than ever before. This is life in all its wonder. This is Planet Earth II. A decade ago, the...
The Untold History of Palestine & Israel
22 min · 1,299 views today · Previewing Abby Martin’s on-the-ground investigation in Palestine, The Empire Files looks at the long history of Zionist colonization, expansion and expulsion of Palestine’s...
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 1,252 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
Donald Trump Is the Mirror and Hillary Clinton Is the Mask
Chris Agnos · 954 views today · Disclaimer: I do not support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton for president. I think the scope of the political debate is far too narrow for the kinds of actions that need to...
Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out
Nadia Prupis · 938 views today · Doing so would constitute 'double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change,' report states
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 895 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
Lessons in the Calais Jungle: Teaching Life Stories and Learning About Humanity
Aura Lounasmaa · 802 views today · I am part of a team of academics teaching a course to residents in the Calais Jungle, a camp for migrants and refugees outside the French city. Life Stories in the Jungle has...
Are You Lost in the World Like Me?
3 min · 735 views today · Animated film by Steve Cutts for 'Are You Lost In The World Like Me?', taken from These Systems Are Failing- the debut album from Moby & The Void Pacific Choir. 
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
New Mexico County is First in the Nation to Ban all Drilling and Fracking