Energy / Hydraulic Fracturing

New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water

Tiny Mora County in northern New Mexico recently became the first county in the country to pass an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil extraction process known as fracking, which can release harmful chemicals in aquifers and municipal water supplies.

Tiny Mora County in northern New Mexico recently became the first county in the country to pass an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil extraction process known as fracking, which can release harmful chemicals in aquifers and municipal water supplies.

OCATE, NM — “Sitting in the tidy living room of the home they built themselves, Sandra and Roger Alcon inventory what they see as the bounty of their lives: freedom, family, community, land, animals … and water.

‘We’ve lived off the land for five generations,’ said Roger Alcon, 63, looking out on a northern New Mexico landscape of high mesas, ponderosa pines and black Angus cattle. ‘We have what we need. We’ve been very happy, living in peace.’

Wells are the Alcons’ only source of water. The same is true for everyone else in Mora County, which is why last month this poor, conservative ranching region of energy-rich New Mexico became the first county in the nation to pass an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as ‘fracking’ that has compromised water quantity and quality in communities around the country.”

— Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times

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