Press Release: Four-Year Moratorium on Fracking Introduced in the Legislature

Four-Year Moratorium On Fracking Introduced In The Legislature

Press Conference Monday 9:00 AM to announce the proposal and pass out copies of the bill requiring a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

February 4th 2019 State Capitol Roundhouse – The Rotunda

Contact: Elaine Cimino 505-604-9772 http://www.commongroundrising.org

Mark LeClaire 505-933-9588

Press Conference Monday 9:00, February 4,h2019, State Capitol Roundhouse – The Rotunda

Senators Shendo and Sedillo Lopez are introducing a bill that would enact a four- year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and gas from deposits in shale and other rock formations.

After a New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department presentation to the Senate Conservation Committee about the state of fracking in New Mexico, newly appointed NM State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez noted that the industry has moved forward very fast and is lagging behind the department’s ability to inspect wells and enforce regulations. She is asking for an important pause in the current agenda to facilitate necessary conversations, studies and plans to address the gaps in the state’s ability to address the impacts on our air, land, water, and human life. The four-year moratorium will prohibit new permits but will allow existing wells to continue producing revenues for the State. The bill asks relevant agencies to report to the legislature and the governor the actual and potential impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment, surface water and underground aquifers, health, and tribal governments and lands. Senator Shendo has been concerned about the impact on fracking on tribal lands and the fact that there has been no consultation with the pueblos and tribes.

“The state of New Mexico knows very little about the impact of fracking in our state. Unfortunately, the Martinez administration starved the state agencies that could study and regulate fracking. A pause will protect the aquifers being threatened by fracking now,” said legislative sponsor Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, adding, “Our communities are already bearing the brunt of the health and safety impacts that come with fracking. The laws and regulations in place now are not protecting people, our water, our land, or our climate. The oil reserves will still be there in four years. We have a constitutional responsibility to protect the health and safety of our people, our beautiful land and our pure water. We need time to get this right and keep our communities healthy and safe.”

Background:

  • ·Moratoriums are common-sense, effective, and perfectly legal. Over 400 cities and municipalities in 20 states have passed local resolutions. Three states have enacted statewide moratoriums.https://localprogress.org/wp- content/uploads/2013/09/Fracking-Bans-and-Moratoriums.pdf
  • Samuel Sage, Community Services Coordinator for the Counselor Chapter of the Navajo Nation, testified to this.” Since 2014, we have been overrun by oil and gas companies….people are complaining about the foul, smelly air. Our community members started complaining about respiratory problems. That has increased.1 The cancer rate within our community has gone up….”
  • ·The Albuquerque Basin, one of only four active rift zones in the world, is uniquely susceptible to groundwater contamination from fracking. We cannot allow the main drinking water source for our state to become polluted. https://youtu.be/uzE8zS0zViMVideo Presentation from Geologist Don Phillips on the dangers of fracking in the Middle Rio Grande Basin.

Press Conference Monday 9:00, February 4,h2019, State Capitol Roundhouse – The Rotunda http://commongroundrising.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/HIR-legislative- packet-2017-copy.pdf AMA Internal Medicine: http://tinyurl.com/jdj2hxd Fracking: https://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracturing Asthma: http://tinyurl.com/jhpkc7f http://commongroundrising.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/01-11-CHP-of- NY-Fracking-Compendium-copy.pdf http://commongroundrising.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Earthwork- Report-On-health-threats-to-Residents-copy.pdf http://commongroundrising.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/TOO-DIRTY- TOO-DANGEROUS-.pdf

2/1/19
SENATE BILL
54TH LEGISLATURE – STATE OF NEW MEXICO – FIRST SESSION, 2019
INTRODUCED BY
DISCUSSION DRAFT
AN ACT
RELATING TO NATURAL RESOURCES; PROHIBITING THE ISSUANCE OF NEW
HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PERMITS; CREATING REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

SECTION 1. Section 70-2-33 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1935,
Chapter 72, Section 24, as amended) is amended to read:
“70-2-33. DEFINITIONS.–As used in the Oil and Gas Act:
A. “hydraulic fracturing” means the process of
injecting fluid into an oil- or natural gas-bearing rock
formation adjacent to the borehole of an oil or natural gas
well for the purpose of either creating new fractures or
expanding existing fractures to stimulate the flow into the
well of oil or natural gas that would otherwise remain in the
rock formation;
[A.] B. “person” means:
(1) any individual, estate, trust, receiver,
cooperative association, club, corporation, company, firm,
partnership, joint venture, syndicate or other entity; or
(2) the United States or any agency or
instrumentality thereof or the state or any political
subdivision thereof;
[B.] C. “pool” means an underground reservoir
containing a common accumulation of crude petroleum oil or
natural gas or both. Each zone of a general structure, which
zone is completely separate from any other zone in the
structure, is covered by the word “pool” as used in the Oil and
Gas Act. “Pool” is synonymous with “common source of supply”
and with “common reservoir”;
[C.] D. “field” means the general area that is
underlaid or appears to be underlaid by at least one pool and
also includes the underground reservoir or reservoirs
containing the crude petroleum oil or natural gas or both. The
words “field” and “pool” mean the same thing when only one
underground reservoir is involved; however, “field”, unlike
“pool”, may relate to two or more pools;
[D.] E. “product” means any commodity or thing made
or manufactured from crude petroleum oil or natural gas and all
derivatives of crude petroleum oil or natural gas, including
refined crude oil, crude tops, topped crude, processed crude
petroleum, residue from crude petroleum, cracking stock,
uncracked fuel oil, treated crude oil, fuel oil, residuum, gas
oil, naphtha, distillate, gasoline, kerosene, benzine, wash
oil, waste oil, lubricating oil and blends or mixtures of crude
petroleum oil or natural gas or any derivative thereof;
[E.] F. “owner” means the person who has the right
to drill into and to produce from any pool and to appropriate
the production either for [himself] the person or for [himself]
the person and another;
[F.] G. “producer” means the owner of a well
capable of producing oil or natural gas or both in paying
quantities;
[G.] H. “gas transportation facility” means a
pipeline in operation serving gas wells for the transportation
of natural gas or some other device or equipment in like
operation whereby natural gas produced from gas wells connected
therewith can be transported or used for consumption;
[H.] I. “correlative rights” means the opportunity
afforded, so far as it is practicable to do so, to the owner of
each property in a pool to produce without waste [his] the
owner’s just and equitable share of the oil or gas or both in
the pool, being an amount, so far as can be practicably
determined and so far as can be practicably obtained without
waste, substantially in the proportion that the quantity of
recoverable oil or gas or both under the property bears to the
total recoverable oil or gas or both in the pool and, for such
purpose, to use [his] the owner’s just and equitable share of
the reservoir energy;
[I.] J. “potash” means the naturally occurring
bedded deposits of the salts of the element potassium;
[J.] K. “casinghead gas” means any gas or vapor or
both indigenous to an oil stratum and produced from such
stratum with oil, including any residue gas remaining after the
processing of casinghead gas to remove its liquid components;
and
[K.] L. “produced water” means water that is an
incidental byproduct from drilling for or the production of oil
and gas.”
SECTION 2. A new section of the Oil and Gas Act is
enacted to read:
“[NEW MATERIAL] HYDRAULIC FRACTURING PROHIBITED.–In
accordance with Article 20, Section 21 of the constitution of
New Mexico, the energy, minerals and natural resources
department shall halt the issuance of new permits allowing
hydraulic fracturing for the purpose of extracting oil or
natural gas.”
SECTION 3. A new section of the Oil and Gas Act is
enacted to read:
“[NEW MATERIAL] HYDRAULIC FRACTURING REPORTING.–Annually,
prior to November 1, the following agencies shall make the
following reports to the governor and the appropriate
legislative interim committees, including the committee that
studies economic and rural development issues, the committee
that studies Indian affairs, the legislative health and human
services committee and the committee that studies water and
natural resources:
A. the energy, minerals and natural resources
department shall report on:
(1) the number of active permits and
applications received related to oil and gas development that
involves hydraulic fracturing;
(2) trends regarding methane and greenhouse
gas emissions globally, nationally and statewide; and
(3) recommendations for:
(a) legislation and regulations
regarding hydraulic fracturing; and
(b) a funding request to complete
research necessary for the reporting requirement listed in this
subsection;
B. the New Mexico department of agriculture shall
report on:
(1) the actual and potential agricultural
impact of oil and gas development that involves hydraulic
fracturing; and
(2) recommendations for:
(a) legislation and regulations
regarding hydraulic fracturing; and
(b) a funding request to complete
research necessary for the reporting requirement listed in this
subsection;
C. the department of environment shall report on:
(1) the actual and potential environmental
impact of oil and gas development that involves hydraulic
fracturing; and
(2) recommendations for:
(a) legislation and regulations
regarding hydraulic fracturing; and
(b) a funding request to complete
research necessary for the reporting requirement listed in this
subsection;
D. the department of health shall report on:
(1) the actual and potential impact of oil and
gas development that involves hydraulic fracturing on public
health; and
(2) recommendations for:
(a) legislation and regulations
regarding hydraulic fracturing; and
(b) a funding request to complete
research necessary for the reporting requirement listed in this
subsection;
E. the office of the state engineer shall report
on:
(1) the actual and potential impact of oil and
gas development that involves hydraulic fracturing on the
surface and ground waters of the state; and
(2) recommendations for:
(a) legislation and regulations
regarding hydraulic fracturing; and
(b) a funding request to complete
research necessary for the reporting requirement listed in this
subsection;
F. the Indian affairs department shall report on:
(1) the actual and potential impact of oil and
gas development that involves hydraulic fracturing on tribal
governments, tribal trust lands and allotted landowners; and
(2) recommendations for:
(a) legislation and regulations
regarding hydraulic fracturing; and
(b) a funding request to complete
research necessary for the reporting requirement listed in this
subsection;
G. the workers’ compensation administration shall
report on claims filed under the Workers’ Compensation Act for
injuries arising out of and in the course of employment related
to hydraulic fracturing; and
H. the workforce solutions department shall report
on the number of workers within the state performing duties
related to hydraulic fracturing.”
SECTION 4. DELAYED REPEAL.–Section 2 of this act is
repealed effective June 1, 2023.

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One comment

  1. Comment
    It’s true that the fracking miracle seems like a runaway train, maybe like a modern gold rush, such that oil companies are de facto learning on the job and states are holding a tiger by the tail. But clearly the elephant in the room is high demand for ICE (internal combustion engine) which is at the root of the activity.

    Without curbing that demand, proposing frac bans is like pie in the sky bridges to nowhere, to say it politely. So a positive development this week was when the governor said the state is setting goals and a timeline for, and launching a study to adopt renewable energy.

    It’s also true that proponents of frac bans could include directives to:
    drive an electric vehicle.
    use renewable energy.
    have a plan to replace the dependency on hydrocarbons, and say here it is….
    have a plan to create and replace lost jobs and family incomes, and say here it is…
    have a plan to create and replace lost local community and state income used for infrastructure, education, health and welfare, and say here it is…

    Frac ban advocates are probably aware that:
    Modern type NM fracked wells deplete rapidly. So in four years of moratorium the NM oil production and associated state, local, and workforce income will be way down.

    Modern NM oil industry economic feasibility depends tremendously on it’s available infra-structure and scale which will both be demolished with a 4 year shut down, so immediate resumption of activity would not be not likely, or if ever due to unknown oil price in 4 years, so would need to have an alternative energy and income ready to implement.

    Workers Compensation funds are paid by employers as employment tax. And current insurance company mandates have made oil field work safer than it was 40 years ago. The main safety issue seems to be inexperienced workers. But the frack workers seem to think their resperators are protecting them from silica dust.

    Fracking safety overall is relative to the local service companies level of expertise to follow best practice and the geology specific to the area being amenable to best practice.

    Oil dependent economies like Midland/Odessa Texas have fracked conventionally for decades and are now extensively fracking unconventionally in populated areas but are not saying that they are noting adverse effects as of yet. In NM Hobbs, Eunice, Jal, Lovington, Carlsbad and other NM towns in the Delaware Basin are similar. SE NM is getting some frac water from across the state line in Texas.

    Replacing O&G could come from electric vehicle conversion shops, electric charging stations powered from renewable infrastructure, hyperloop development sites, spaceport sites, etc., but replacing the magnitude of income from hydrocarbon production is unlikely without new venture ideas. But glaringly, if the loss of income is a given with a frac ban, so are the changes to our way of life a given with our continued hydrocarbon use.

    Necessity is the mother of invention. Oil and gas would have died a natural death already, so it was necessary for it to invent horizontally fracking the shales to come back from the dead. If that hadn’t happened it would have already become fiscally necessary for N.M. to invent an alternative economy, but that necessity will come someday. Still, the SE NM Permian Basin miracle seems real now, but would die with a frac ban. Fracking doesn’t really make jobs in northern NM like in SE NM, so it’s still necessary for northern NM to invent jobs if that’s what we want. “Not in my backyard” and resistance to change, and making changes in cultural and environmentally responsible ways are some forces to be reckoned with.

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