Thursday, January 20, 2011

Speak Up to Protect Community Rights--Albuquerque Journal

January 16, 2011
By Kathleen Dudley And Theresa Hamrich

Many of us are not accustomed to reading state or local law or involving ourselves in governmental decision-making. Our time is spent working, taking care of our families, our land, ourselves. There is little time left over to read laws that will affect our lives directly, and the lives of the people we love. But today, more than ever, we must take our role as citizens seriously and act to protect our rights so that we do not wake up one day and find that the good water, air and land in Mora County has been "taken" from us due to our ignorance or lack of action.

As New Mexicans, we have rights, but they are weak, like a muscle that has not been exercised. We know from reports across the country that our environment is under siege as a result of corporate development — sewage sludge, landfills, factory farming, natural gas and coal extraction, massive water withdrawals to name but a few.

We only need to look a short distance to the devastation in San Juan County and recall the statements made by ranchers Chris Velasquez and Gilbert Armenta. After 60 years, their local, self-sufficient, land-based economy is but a shadow of its former self due to oil and natural gas extraction. "Wake-up, Mora County, before it is too late" is Armenta's plea to the citizens in Mora County. Velasquez told the people, "Once they start their engines, it is all over.".....continued.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mora County group's water study provides first line of defense against 'fracking'--The Santa Fe New Mexican

January 9th 2011
Staci Matlock

A group of residents opposed to drilling for natural gas in Mora County has completed a baseline water quality study of area domestic wells.

The data collected will allow them to track contamination from fluids used in natural gas drilling and production.

Kathleen Dudley, one of the founders of Drilling Mora County, said she thought Mora was the first county to complete baseline well testing. "We now have a defensible set of documents so that, if the industry was ever allowed to drill in the Las Vegas basin in Mora County, they would have to defend against their chemicals showing up in our water, because our water is testing clean from all hydraulic fracturing fluids."

The protocol for establishing baseline water quality in wells is now available from Drilling Mora County to any well owner or community water system in New Mexico.....continued.....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Nonprofit Offering Help With Tests That May Link Contaminated Water to Hydraulic Fracking

Founders of ShaleTest.Org, personally affected by drilling near their homes, launch nationwide effort to defer costs of expensive water, soil and air tests.

By Shauna Stephenson

A new nonprofit trying to raise awareness about water contamination and its connection to drilling is offering low-income families help with testing their water, soil and air quality .

ShaleTest.Org, based in Texas, recently launched its nationwide effort, emphasizing the importance of testing for the presence of chemicals before and after drilling, or hydraulic fracturing for underground oil and gas reserves, begins.

ShaleTest founders Tim Ruggierro, a property owner in Wise County, Texas, and Calvin Tillman, mayor of Dish, Texas, both have personal experience with development on or near their property. “To me, it’s just not that difficult to connect the dots as to where the problem is,” Ruggierro says. “It’s very convenient for the industry to go around saying there’s not one case of contamination due to hydraulic fracturing because there’s no testing.”....continued.....