Monday, April 28, 2008

Common Ground United, Coalition

The mission of Common Ground United is to provide a platform allowing diverse organizations, from local to federal, to express a united voice concerning the protection of our water, cultural, ecological, and economic resources and the health and safety of our citizens from the adverse impacts of all extractive resource developments.
Governing Principles

We are committed to the idea that local citizens must have a meaningful role in developing extractive resource development policies and the determining voice in their communities.

We are committed to an honest, open, public, and transparent debate and decision-making process that holds public officials accountable for their actions.

We are nonpartisan and inclusive our coalition members include local citizens, community groups, businesses, and religious leaders.

We take a pragmatic, science-based approach to solving problems and are credible in all our research and communication.

We value collaboration by sharing what we know and working with others who share our interest in protecting our water, cultural, ecological, and economic resources and the health and safety of our citizens from the adverse impact of oil and gas development.
Local Action

"San Juan County outranks major metro areas in carbon emissions"

"FARMINGTON — San Juan County is ranked No. 6 on the nation's Top 20 Worst Offenders for Carbon Dioxide Emissions list in research published by a Purdue University professor.

Being one of few non-major metropolitan areas included on the list further sets San Juan County apart from other cities listed by Kevin Gurney, Ph.D.

San Juan County follows counties that include Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit.

"This is really due to the electrical demand," Gurney said. "There is a wide-spread phenomena (in the U.S.) to produce power and send it to other areas."'

Rio Arriba County OKs Drilling Ban

"ESPANOLA — The Rio Arriba County Commissioners unanimously passed an amended moratorium on new oil and gas drilling within their county, approving a four-month ban while it continues to study environmental concerns."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Talking Heads

RADIO--Join Frank Splendoria, radio host, and Common Ground United, Johnny Micou, discuss the issues of oil and gas development in New Mexico.
April 28th, 1:00 KNMX
866 425 3555
505 425 3555

Free Energy at Luna Community College Renewable Energy Fair

Las Vegas--Luna Community College's annual renewable energy fair April 25-26, Friday-Saturday, at Luna Community College featuring alternative energy to oil and gas. Exhibits on passive and active solar systems, wind-generated power, and agricultural crops that produce energy. "How-to" create, benefit and afford renewable energy systems. Music, food, and ideas.

Rancher's Road Slimed by Drilling Fluid

"FARMINGTON — Río Arriba County rancher Bill Smith lost his patience with the oil and gas industry shortly before noon Tuesday.

He's shared the 4,140 acres his family homesteaded near Gobernador in 1910 for years, but he's kept his mouth shut about the industry that generates a lot of money for New Mexico.

But Smith had quite a few things to say when he discovered a quarter mile-long, six- to 12-inch wide swath of drilling fluid leading to a Paul and Sons-owned oil field water truck at about 11:30 a.m.

"ConocoPhillips just drilled a well that has a reserve pit," Smith said. "When I came out here on my motorcycle I found a truck that looked like it dumped this on the road."...

Monday, April 21, 2008

"Drilling Ban"--Rio Grande Sun

"The moratorium could last six months or longer while the (Rio Arriba) County develops an ordinance addressing the environmental and cultural effects of the proliferation of wells. It will apply to "any portion of the territory within the County that is not within the zoning jurisdiction of a municipality or not within Native American designated lands," the proposal states. Federal lands are also included in the draft." (full article)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Vultures and coyotes"

"Vultures and coyotes," by Frank Splendoria:

"It was bound to happen. Change is inevitable and the vultures and coyotes are drooling on the doorstep of Mora County.

The “Gem of New Mexico”, as Sen. Phil Griego calls it, is facing two significant and simultaneous challenges: enforcement of a long ignored provision of state tax law; and potential development of oil and gas resources."

"Mora residents split over drilling"

"Rancher Tony Duran and hunter Gerard Moleski, both of Ocate, N.M., stand on polar opposite sides of an issue haunting the West — drilling for oil and gas. It's an issue that threatens to split the normally quiet, rural communities in Mora County."

"State can force mineral rights owners to allow drilling"

"Mineral rights owners in Mora County could be forced to allow drilling on their land, even if they don't voluntarily agree to lease the rights.

That's just one of the provisions of the state's oil and gas statutes that residents find confusing.

Mark Fesmire, director of the Oil Conservation Division of the state's Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, which regulates oil, gas and geothermal activity in New Mexico, shed light on the leasing lingo and various possible drilling scenarios.

When a company approaches an owner to lease the minerals, it agrees to pay an annual fee for a specified number of years, he said. In Mora County, KHL Inc. is reportedly offering residents with mineral rights a 10-year lease at $1 an acre per year.

Fesmire said a company also pays an annual rental fee to the mineral rights owner if it isn't going to drill for a couple of years.

In addition, the company pays a royalty on any oil and gas extracted, usually one-eighth of the revenues from what is produced, Fesmire said. Mineral rights owners can negotiate for higher royalties.

But here's the kicker for people who don't want to lease their mineral rights, such as Rose Josefa in Ojo Feliz. She might have no choice but to allow mineral extraction from under her land — although she could make some money from it."

"Mora County residents torn over mineral leases"

"Knute H. Lee Jr. had a pitch for the eastern Mora County residents who showed up Feb. 10 for a barbecue he hosted in the Ocate Community Center: Lease out your oil and gas mineral rights through his Albuquerque company, KHL Inc.

A total of 116 people from surrounding communities turned out to chow down on barbecued beef brisket, chicken and potato salad, and to hear Lee's proposition.

"Several people were opposed to leasing," said Ojo Feliz resident Rose Josefa, who attended the event. "Many were interested in how the royalty and rental system works. The rest were quiet but not very welcoming. I didn't get the sense that people were jumping up and down over his offer."'