Saturday, July 28, 2007

The New Mexican Articles

"County seeks to ease oil-drilling fears" -"Don’t panic. The public will have a chance to weigh in before new oil or gas drilling starts in Santa Fe County." (see previous article, "Oil drilling fears erupt in Galisteo, Cerrillos")

In response to the article in The New Mexican, July 24, 2007, “County Seeks to Ease Oil-Drilling Fears,” Drilling Santa Fe would like to make the following comments. First, it is good that the County will allow the public “a chance to weigh in.” Oil and gas exploration could adversely impact our health and our land. Water wells and aquifers could be damaged. Our limited supplies of water would be depleted, since oil and gas exploration and production require vast amounts of water.

The article states, ‘“Think about the amount of tax revenue it could bring to the county,” Ulibarri said, citing the approximately $8.2 billion dollars in natural gas revenue generated annually in San Juan County, in northwestern New Mexico.” We would clarify that a small fraction of the tax revenue actually is returned to the County. Much of the gross revenue leaves New Mexico, since many of the producers there are out of state.

Although “county officials don’t think there are great untapped sources of oil in the county,” without strict regulation and enforcement, damages can and do occur. Exploration brings a strain on the infrastructure with the influx of temporary workers and the road building and maintenance required for every well.

For example, an extensive study conducted for Valle Vidal concluded, “Committing the spectacular natural landscapes of Valle Vidal to commercial mineral development will not bring real economic development to Colfax County.”

"Energy development has high opportunity costs" - Sonoran Institute

Chicago Tribune, "In Minority Neighborhood, Kid's Risk of Cancer Soars," printed in The New Mexican, 'Environmental Racism'

Farmington Urban Well Pad

(Click on picture for larger view)

About the picture from a Farmington resident: "Here is a picture I took in Farmington a couple of days ago... note that this is inside a city that has a lot of good regs....but look at how close this is to the house (most regs are written for the distance from the well head to a structure... not from the pad perimeter). This well pad fence comes up right to the edge of the house and garage. It has an opaque green slat fence but the pad still is huge (acres) and has those big buildings that house the noise and other things. Notice the area... really nice large expensive homes... other areas of Farmington do not have this quality of enclosures...this is the best I have seen. Enclosures, noise specs, and closed loop are some things that should be demanded from the county in their new code. Even in the best of circumstances, this example below may be the best that anyone can expect here in NM, short of directional drilling from a remote consolidated location."

Farmington Urban Well Pad Upclose

(Click on picture for larger view)

From a resident in the Farmington area about picture: "Here is a shot of tank and housing on the pad from a different angle with with house roof showing in back. Backing out of the garage goes right up against the fence. People in Eldorado and Santa Fe need to know this could happen to them with much less protection and mitigation unless they can get really good codes in place."