The citizen group We Are One River is organizing a rally prior to the Tuesday, May 23 Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting to urge the commission to draft an ordinance regulating the oil and gas industry, which is already operating on a massive scale in the Chaco Canyon area of the county. The rally begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Sandoval County Administration Building, 1500 Idalia Road, Bernalillo, New Mexico. People can sign up to speak at the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.
You can find more information at the We Are One River Facebook page. This is a brief excerpt describing the situation:
“Sandoval County is poised to become the epicenter of the next fracking boom. The brutal economics of the extraction industry that caused the Nixon administration to declare the San Juan Basin a “national energy sacrifice zone” continue today. The consequences promise to be devastating.
There are already over 600 fracked wells in the NW part of the county, concentrated in the greater Chaco Canyon area. These predominately Navajo communities are already experiencing the health & safety impacts that occur with fracking. The county has the legal standing to pass an oil & gas ordinance that could protect its residents, but has failed to do so to date. State and Federal laws take precedence over county laws, but most of our State laws regulating the oil and gas industry date back to 1935 and do not address new technologies like fracking. After the Mora County ban on fracking was overturned in federal court, many citizens’ and environmental groups have felt that strong county ordinances are our best chance at protecting our watershed and our communities. Ordinances are drafted by the planning and zoning board whose members are appointed by county commissioners.”