Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Oil, Water, do not Mix in Mora County"--OPTIC

Las Vegas Optic
26 June 2009
Letter to the Editor

LETTER: Oil, water don’t mix in Mora County

In a county such as Mora County, where agriculture is the way of life, ranching and farming, bartering and working long, hard hours on land passed down for multiple generations, there is little to compare with such a culture of activity. Not unlike attempting to mix oil and water, “dirty” industry and agriculture do not mix. One will be dominant — the one that uses the most resources will over-ride the other. That will be the oil and gas industry.

Just look to Farmington. It once most likely was a FARMING---TON area, now vastly industrialized and nary a Spanish word found on the streets, let alone bartering, or the sound of roosters crowing, or the sight of a herd of sheep, or acequias open, flooding fields of alfalfa. It is a bustling city of money, thoroughbred horse farms, long white painted fences and beautiful rolling hills. I can imagine what it once was like when I look out onto the lush fields of Mora Valley today. A boom will come to Mora County, and with it, rising real estate prices, and rising taxes necessary to pay for rising infrastructure costs.

The Hispanic families, ranching and farming for generations, will be the ones most drastically impacted. Some will be displaced due to the economic impact of the oil and gas industry. In some cases, aquifers will be contaminated with minute amounts of toxic chemicals and the land, rich with water, will be useless. Poisonous water kills. Just like Aztec, and Farmington, Mora County will become a slave to the crown of industry. And yet another culture and way of life will have fallen.

Kathleen Dudley
Mora County

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.