Sunday, June 15, 2008


Oil and Water Don’t Mix

Please Join us on Friday, June 20, 2008 at the Oil Conservation Division offices, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe at 9:00 am and protect our future from the threats of oil and gas.

June 20, next Friday, 9:00 am 1st floor, Porter Hall, Wendell Chino Building, 1220 S. St. Francis Dr., Santa Fe, NM.

Please attend the meeting to support Rio Arriba County and email your support of Rio Arriba County to emnrd.nmocd@state.nm.usThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Rio Arriba County is one of many New Mexico counties fallen victim to the relentless oil and gas industry. Four oil and gas drilling permits have been issued to drill in the historic Tierra Amarilla land grant area east of Chama, NM and another six permits are pending as part of an oil and gas development scheme of a Texas-based oil company, Approach Operating, LLC. Those ten permits are just the start of the development that encompasses over 90,000 acres of the pristine and sensitive Chama watershed. One of the four permits already issued is above 9,900' elevation, very near the absolute top of this beautiful, classic watershed and adjacent to the State designated Scenic Byway on highway 64 between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras. Sadly, Approach has already bulldozed out a drilling site in the mouth of a once beautiful box canyon without the permission of the landowners just five miles south of Tierra Amarilla.

In answer to an outcry from landowners, acequia associations, concerned citizens, and the Rio Arriba County Commission, the State will hold an adjudicatory hearing on all ten drilling permits, (the four issued and the six pending) on Friday, June 20, 2008 at the Oil Conservation Division offices, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe at 9 am in Porter Hall on the first floor. The offices are in the Wendell Chino Building.

All the abundant natural resources of this remaining sub-alpine landscape are threatened by the massive and unavoidable impacts of oil and gas drilling. Environmental degradation begins with the dirty work of building a drilling site, and continue to mount with related road building and pipeline creation, and carry on for another 30 years, the estimated life of the wells, putting all the innerconnected resources at risk. Heavy traffic, frequent trips, day and night operation, water pollution, air pollution, engine and equipment noise all contribute to a continuing disruption of the natural wonderland that now exists in our special places. Oil and gas drilling immediately endangers the eagles and elk, the deer and bear, the Rio Grande Cutthroat trout, and countless other native New Mexican wildlife that reside in these high elevation habitats. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish assert that native cutthroat trout have disappeared in all but seven percent (7%) of the streams above 5,500'. Adding insult to injury, all the streams in the area that Approach intends to drill are above 5,500'.

It is for the land, water, wildlife, and way-of-life that we ask you to join your fellow community members and speak up in the face of special interests that threaten all that makes New Mexico Enchanted. Stand with your fellow landowners and concerned citizens who would question the State as to why, with only cursory paperwork, it would allow the entire region to be immediately at risk, sacrificing our natural wonders for generations to come. As in the Galisteo Basin and in Mora County New Mexicans are starting to come together and resist by telling our politicians that the risks of oil and gas development are too devastating to compromise our water, our agricultural heritage, our wilderness and wildlife. By coming together as caring New Mexicans, we prove that we will not sit quietly as Mother Nature’s gifts are sacrificed to the rapacious oil and gas industry.