Banning fracking would be the wrong move

By Paul Gessing-Rio Grande Foundation President-Saturday, April 9th, 2016 12:19am-Albuquerque Journal.

Given the challenges facing New Mexico’s economy – and with the price of gasoline on the rebound – we at the Rio Grande Foundation expressed our view that the citizens and political leadership in Sandoval County should have given SandRidge Energy a fair hearing over their desire to drill an exploratory well in the county. Unfortunately, that did not happen and SandRidge left.

Now, out-of-state environmental groups, including Food and Water Watch, the Sierra Club and Environment New Mexico, are pushing a complete moratorium – five years in duration – on oil and gas drilling within Sandoval County. These groups are philosophically opposed to the traditional sources of energy that fund one-third of New Mexico’s budget.

There are no unusual issues with drilling for oil and gas in this part of Sandoval County. Rather, there is a political opportunity to capitalize on fear of the unknown to advance their anti-energy agenda.

Click Here for Full Column at

Report: Lesser prairie chicken conservation efforts succeeding

Lesser Prairie Chicken displaying on booming grounds in short grass prairie; Oklahoma panhandle, Beaver County:
Lesser Prairie Chicken displaying on booming grounds in short grass prairie

From the Midland Reporter-Telegram
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 11:45 pm | Updated: 6:37 pm, Mon Apr 4, 2016.
By Mella McEwen

A month after Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Junell upheld his September 2015 ruling overturning the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened,” a second-year update offered good news on the species.

The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which oversees the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan, said in its second annual report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the lesser prairie chicken had another successful year in 2015.

In the report, WAFWA said the chicken’s range-wide population had increased by 25 percent to just more than 29,000 birds, industry partners had committed nearly $51 million in fees to pay for mitigation actions, and landowners across the five-state range agreed to conserve more than 67,000 acres of habitat.

“WAFWA is really pleased with the progress being made with the implementation of the RWP,” Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA grassland coordinator, told the Reporter-Telegram by email.

Click Here to Read Entire Story