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.