Thursday, October 1, 2009

Drilling Mora County Media Chair writes to the Santa Fe Opera Director, Charles MacKay

Mr. MacKay,
I am a resident of Mora County concerned about the proposed oil and gas drilling here. I was appalled to learn that you had leased more than 26,000 acres worth of mineral rights in Mora and San Miguel Counties. I find it reprehensible that an organization dedicated to the arts would sign away mineral leases in counties that are resisting unregulated oil
and gas development.

You have cited financial need as your reasoning for signing this lease. I expect however, that you will find your attendance numbers dropping due to the moral discrepancies you have displayed by leasing the minerals of this land on which you do not live. I am deeply saddened that, while my tax dollars have been given to your organization, you would rather assist in destroying the water, health, and environment of myself and fellow county citizens than find another way to fund your programs. While you have mentioned your “history of environmental commitment” your words resound with hypocrisy.

If the Santa Fe Opera was genuinely committed to preservation of the environment, this lease would have never been signed. I find this leasing of mineral rights in our underprivileged county to be against everything I previously believed the arts stood for. Much art is inspired by nature. I doubt many artists find gas wells and the toxic cesspools that accompany them to be very conducive to their expression of art.

It is my hope that, as a respected organization in good standing with the residents of New Mexico, you will reassess the way you make decisions and develop some concern for the way these decisions impact surrounding communities.

Aravis Kurtiz
Media chair, Drilling Mora County