Mora-ons against prosperity

Contrary to New Mexico law which authorizes the Oil Conservation Division with the power to approve or deny drilling, the Mora County Commission has voted 2-1 to ban all drilling for oil and gas within its borders. Not ‘fracking’ which, while safe, has generated a great deal of concern among liberals and NIMBY types, but plain old oil and gas drilling.

This in a County where 23.8 percent of residents live in poverty and 15 percent of the County is unemployed. No jobs here!!!

Now, I honestly don’t have a moral problem with being against oil and gas drilling. It is illegal under New Mexico law and unfair even for, say 90% of the citizens of a given locality to tell the other 10% they can’t have a job, but it’s not inherently immoral. What is immoral is the fact that the folks in Mora County send their kids to schools that are funded largely by oil and gas, heat their homes and watch TV by the power of gas and/or some other nasty fossil fuel, drive on roads that have a petroleum base, and generally benefit from the fact that society around them embraces fossil fuels and oil and gas exploitation.

So, what can be done? First, it is time for our leaders to do everything possible to cut off severance tax dollars to the County. Secondly, I think Gov. Martinez and her Administration should do whatever they can to deny funding and services to the County. Need a pothole fixed or a road paved? Sorry, that requires petroleum…local welfare office or senior center not staffed appropriately…sorry, we just don’t have the money and you aren’t pulling your weight.

Freedom means responsibility. If Mora is free to deny basic economic activity on its hallowed land, then the leaders of the County should bear responsibility for those decisions and voters bear responsibility for allowing “Mora-ons” to represent them.

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22 Replies to “Mora-ons against prosperity”

  1. Water>Oil. Good on them for not risking their precious reserve of groundwater. Do you have any idea how extreme this drought is?

    I also love how a supposed ‘small govt. libertarian’ would like to utilize the greater power of the NM state govt. to not only assert but to punish the local decision making of the citizens of Mora County.

    Eh, it doesn’t really mater anyway. Mora County will lose. Shell will bleed the county dry in litigation and steamroll it’s way in to the county. Hope the spill won’t be too bad!

    1. Explain how any and all oil and gas drilling impacts the groundwater. First and foremost, I believe in the rule of law. If Mora doesn’t want to be part of New Mexico or they don’t want to participate in the economy, then they shouldn’t get any financial benefits from the rest of the state.

      I love how a private company is supposed to bleed a county dry on litigation. Governments can take money from people by force and Shell is the one bleeding the other dry.

      1. “How oil and gas drilling affects groundwater”?? Are you serious? Do we really need to go thru the list of examples of spills and contamination? How about we look recently to our neighbors to the north: http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_22154751/drilling-spills-reaching-colorado-groundwater-state-mulls-test Read the first two paragraphs and tell me with a straight face that’s not alarming.

        For as little economic prosperity and opportunity the folks in Mora county have, they have even less water. Wonder why there is only 4,800 residents? So therefore, they’ve made the conscientious and correct decision to protect that resource from being threatened by eventual contamination. Local decision making. What I can’t grasp is why so many Cons seem so short-sighted in recognizing the severity of the drought we’re in. And just wait until we frack away New Mexico (using upwards of 5million gallons per day per drilling site). Maybe it’s rooted in the unconscious antipathy conservatives have towards the environment, I’m sure at a loss.

        That’s not to say we can’t have this discussion at a later time. If, and hopefully when, the drought subsides.

        “Governments can take money from people by force”. You mean, through a fine? Like when an individual or entity commits a crime and subsequently has to pay retributions for said offense? Or else you must be talking about taxation. That thing you just have to pay to help maintain society. I know, what a bummer!

        1. If drilling contaminates water, those companies doing the drilling should be held responsible with fines and serious repercussions. I was not familiar with the situation in Colorado. Nonetheless, Mora County is benefiting from oil and gas drilling activities happening in other places around New Mexico. Mora residents should be consistent and not accept (or be given) the benefits of those activities elsewhere if they are so concerned about the impacts of oil and gas.

    2. Josh,
      Look across the pond – Europe is collapsing from the weight of socialism. The America of 50 years ago is the most successful example of prosperity in recorded history. The citizens of the USA with welfare, free school lunches, free cell phones, and unlimited hand-outs are destroying the country. Americans are now the frogs in the pot of water that do not realize that the water is being heated and by the time they do, they are cooked.

  2. Hi Paul. I totally agree with you. Mora is one of the poorest counties in the state, probably ranks high among poorest counties in the nation. My grandfather and his siblings were born in the Mora Valley and there their roots are deep. I wish I could say I’ve inherited mineral rights in Mora County, as I have in San Miguel County; if so I’d strongly protest this foolish–and no doubt unlawful–decision by county commissioners to rob people who own mineral rights. I’m searching for cousins who hold royalties who’d be directly impacted. This underhanded action by the county is totally wrong! Most families living in Mora for generations have financially struggled all of their lives, and now their own county is stealing from them what assets they have! It’s proven that fracking does no environmental harm; it is just the newest scare in the environmentalists’ bag of tricks. Gullible politicians who haven’t done their homework are being used by them to further their non-scientific agendas. . .

  3. Dear Josh,

    You must be very young. Historical perspective can teach you far more than special interest groups. Think of the billions of barrels of oil that have come out of the ground to fuel the worldwide industrial revolution of the past 150 years which made America great and you still have clean water to drink. You need to monitor what goes into your mind as truth.

  4. Thank You Mora County for having the common sense to keep the Water polluters out of your County! When will they learn WATER is more important than gas or oil.

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