Monday, July 6, 2009

"Mora Co. to hold hearing on drilling" by David Gulliani--Las Vegas Optic

Question: Do we want Mora to remain “agricultural” with our scarce precious water protected or “industrial” with water gone or polluted?

We are now on the brink of a disastrous takeover by Corporate America reminiscent of the land grant takeovers of old.

Some recent examples of happenings elsewhere:

• Sixty-eight wells in the township of Hickory, Penn., are being drilled with the same process (“hydrofracking”) that would be used here. They are taking millions of gallons of water in this process that forces a chemical-laden solution deep into the rock to break and release gas. Resident Ron Gulla blames drilling for the death of all vegetation around his ponds and the fish all dead. “They lied to us,” he is quoted as saying. “Our pristine quiet township is now poisoned. And we have noisy drills and compressors, heavy truck traffic ruining our roads and air pollution from flaring and escaping gas.” The Delaware River watershed (servicing 15 million people) is severely threatened.

• Closer to home, according to an endocrine research lab, in Paonia, Colo., 30 percent of the 54 tested chemicals in drilling fluid are cancer forming; 74 percent can cause respiratory damage, and 54 percent endanger the cardiovascular system.

• Still closer to home, landowners with drilling sites in Stonewall, Colo., have detectors in their homes — when methane comes through their water pipes, alarms go off — “Evacuate!” Yes, water can burn!

It takes 800,000 gallons of fresh water to drill just one well. Water (now toxic) is pumped back into the hole, contaminating underground aquifers.

It’s up to us — protect it or lose it. Many states, including New Mexico are damaged by this unapologetic industry — 700 documented contaminated wells in New Mexico, with over 4,500 spillage events (800 contaminated from leaks, spills, and releases of toxic oil/gas field waste or products as of 2005.)

Our commissioners represent us, not outside mega-industry. They need to know how we, the people, feel. San Miguel will be affected. Santa Fe County Commissioners responded to large public outcry recently and put a moratorium on drilling and high standards for future environmental/health protection.

Please attend the public forum on gas drilling on this coming Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Mora Junior High Gym.

Judy Pilcher
Buena Vista

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