Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"Tap into renewables, not oil and gas"--Las Vegas Optic

David Giuliani’s article on the special meeting May 6 on oil and gas development in Mora County was fair and balanced. The meeting was a spirited event with people coming into a shared cohesive concern about the threats that oil and gas drilling could have upon the water, land and way of life in Mora County.

As Giuliani pointed out, citizens considering whether to sign leases for drilling should contact a lawyer who has expertise in land and mineral rights. The rancher who said he is happy with the results of having wells on his land in Texas said he signed a lease that was 60 pages long. He had considerable expensive legal help. We can be sure the lease he signed was nothing like the one being offered by KHL. Everyone does have the means to hire such help, but it is still crucial they get specialized legal help to get good protections.

It takes 300,000 gallons of water present and available quickly to drill one gas well. The county commissioners and citizens need to seriously consider whether Mora County can afford to lose this much water to every gas well drilled.

If New Mexico Land Commissioner Lyons decides to sell the public land leases of the wilderness of Mora and Colfax counties to drilling, it will change our water and culture forever. Citizens and New Mexico hunters need to call him to express their feelings about losing this pristine wilderness to drilling.

It would better serve Mora and New Mexico to begin in earnest to develop the renewable resources that our state is so perfectly situated to provide, rather than taking a terrible chance on opening Mora County to oil and gas development.

Pattie Cavalletto