TOO MUCH AT STAKE
David Alire Garcia and Dave Maass are to be commended for their fine investigative reporting skills and for their writing on this complex and contentious issue [Cover story, Dec.12: "Motherfrackers"]. The impact of oil and gas drilling on all the citizens of Santa Fe County will reach far into the future. The prospect of polluting our precarious water supply, permanently damaging the health and wellbeing of citizens and spoiling our environment and thereby spoiling the county's most important business tax base, tourism, is too terrible to consider. The amount of time being allowed to consider the newly drafted county ordinance governing oil and gas drilling is scandalously small.
Thank you for your courageous publication of this article at this crucial time. The citizens of Santa Fe need to know.
NO MORE DRILLING
Reporters David Alire Garcia and Dave Maass have done some excellent investigative journalism on the proposed "screwing" of the Galisteo Basin.
Peace and Justice for Animals, an animal activist organization for this bioregion, adds its support in solidarity with many others who are opposed to Tecton (or any fossil fuel extractive industry) raping our last wild lands. The Galisteo Basin is home to a myriad of animal species, which have found refuge there. Where do the wildlife go when another destructive human industry ruins their ecosystem?
We are at the end of the Age of Fossil Fuels. It is time to stop. No more fossil fuel exploration, no more drilling, no more oil spills, no more raping of our natural world. In the Age of Global Climate Change, it is insane to continue to drill for more fossil fuels, which will only accelerate our climate problems. The Governor, Legislature and County Commission must listen to The People. If they do not, we will make the decisions for them. We must speak for those who cannot. To help, contact: www.foranimals.org.
COORDINATOR, PEACE & JUSTICE FOR ANIMALS
I wonder if the poor fools at Tecton, Inc. ever heard of The Monkey Wrench Gang? They will.
BUY THE RIGHTS
Thanks, sort of, for the article about oil drilling ("but there's really nothing you can do about it") in Santa Fe County.
The authors expressed their rather odd bias, calling Bill Dirks with Tecton Energy a "wizard." Just how is this person a wizard? Because he works with a process that injects the earth with toxic chemicals? By the way, one common one used by drillers is benzene, a known carcinogen, so toxic it was banned years ago from the printing industry-where was your research? And Dirks works with the Aspen Institute seeking "sustainable, clean energy solutions." Hmmm, somehow I sense whitewashing here…and oh yes he said his home in Houston is on "property owned by a major oil company." A search showed no address for Dirks in Houston. Oh well maybe his number is unlisted. Why such deep sympathy for Dirks? He seems quite adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth. As, ultimately, do your authors, despite all their impressive digging around the Tecton leases.
This is a time when Santa Fe County, the state, the country and all of us who inhabit this planet need creative, positive solutions. Not more of the same hogwash we have been given over and over again ad nauseam. There were some sweet ideas at that last meeting at the Santa Fe High School gym, one in particular, proposed by a woman from the audience: Let's buy the mineral rights from Tecton…a Trust for Public Land sort of deal.
We have the knowledge (and means) to give everyone a good life and not destroy the world's resources. Let's do that.
The Reporter's "Dirty Detour" story [Outtakes, Dec. 12] explored some important issues regarding the state's recent adoption of Clean Car standards.
The lawsuit filed against the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) by four legislators and a handful of businesses is frivolous and without merit. The lawsuit attempts to distract from the real issue at hand-that the Clean Cars Program is the single best means of fighting global warming emissions from motor vehicles in New Mexico.
It was only after 16 months of debate within the Climate Change Advisory Group, one year of development since the Governor's executive order directing the New Mexico Environment Department to draft regulations, two months of public comment that resulted in over 2,000 written and in-person comments and 23 hours of testimony from concerned citizens, businesses and organizations that the pro-industry lawsuit was filed.
The New Mexico Legislature has already weighed in on the issue of motor vehicle standards, however. As provided for by statute, the New Mexico Air Quality Control Act authorizes the EIB and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) to adopt regulations for motor vehicles to "prevent or abate air pollution." It is well within the authority of the EIB to adopt Clean Car standards.
Regarding cost, all increases in the price of new vehicles will be fully offset by reduced operating costs. Because of the savings at the gasoline pump, low-income New Mexicans are expected to benefit financially from the program.
After thoughtful consideration, the EIB and AQCB overwhelmingly voted to adopt the program. I applaud the EIB and AQCB for taking meaningful action now to protect public health, clean up our air, save consumers money at the pump and reduce New Mexico's global warming emissions and call on Rep. [Jim] Trujillo to drop the lawsuit against the Clean Cars Program.
ENVIRONMENT NEW MEXICO
KEEP CLEAN CARS
I was very disappointed to see that Rep. Trujillo, three other legislators and four car dealers have sued the Environmental Improvement Board regarding the Clean Cars Program. The American Lung Association estimates that in the US, 60,000 to 120,000 people die each year because of exposure to air pollution from cars. The ALA also estimates medical costs due to auto air pollution at $93 billion per year. It is imperative that New Mexico adopt the Clean Cars Program.
The public has spoken loud and clear. Despite more than 2,000 public comments submitted in favor of the Clean Cars Program during the rulemaking, Rep. Trujillo has decided to listen to the special interests and play political turf games with the Clean Cars Program.
Opponents should drop their lawsuit.
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