FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Santa Fe, New Mexico—The Red Nation (TRN) to hold press conference and rally to protest closed-door conference where oil and gas execs will decide future of New Mexico’s water.
WHO: TRN-Albuquerque & TRN-Santa Fe
WHAT: Press Conference & Rally at NM Produced Water Conference to present list of People’s Demands to industry execs & government officials to #FrackOff our water
WHEN: Friday, November 16, 2018; Rally at 2:00 PM; Press Conference at 3:00PM
WHERE: Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda and Spa, 1501 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM, 87501
On November 15 and 16 at Hotel Santa Fe Hacienda and Spa, officials from the state, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Interior (DOI) will gather with representatives from the oil and gas industry to discuss “produced water.” Produced water is a euphemism for water that has been used for hydraulic fracturing (or fracking). According to the conference website, attendees will “clarify the existing regulatory and permitting frameworks related to the way produced water from oil and gas extraction can be reused, recycled, and renewed for other purposes.” As TRN affiliate Berkley Carnine writes, attendees will “rewrite regulations in order to guzzle up the region’s scarce and sacred freshwater resources for fracking and then “re-introduce” dirty water back into the hydrological cycle.” This means that water used for fracking, which is contaminated with brine, toxic metals, and radioactivity, will be dumped into fragile watersheds and, potentially, municipal water supplies.
If they go without challenge, these plans will forever change New Mexico’s water. The EPA recently issued a Draft White Paper that shares the oil and gas industry’s plan for addressing water scarcity and drought in New Mexico by ‘cleaning up produced water.’ Research has shown that it is impossible to clean up water once it has been poisoned with the chemicals required for fracking. Yet our government officials are willing to negotiate deals with extraction corporations to sell off our water and poison future generations. Why? Because they want to rake in billions from the produced water industry on top of the billions they have already made from oil and gas. All at our expense.
Prominent state officials are already in the pocket of big oil and gas. New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Ken McQueen is a past vice president of WPX Energy, one of the largest companies fracking in the San Juan Basin and Greater Chaco region. And Tom Blaine, the New Mexico State Engineer who administers water code and has the final say on all water-related decisions for the state, is facing several lawsuits for illegally selling permits for 415 million gallons of NM water to oil and gas industry.
As TRN Editor Nick Estes stated in our most recent newsletter, “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a dire warning last month: there is no safe level of global warming, and to stave off the most deleterious effects of climate change, nations have only twelve years to transition out of a carbon economy. Those measures should have been taken yesterday.”
We are on the precipice of a change we cannot reverse. Whether it be in Oak Flat (2015), Standing Rock (2016), or Eastern Navajo (2018), Indigenous people are taking power into our own hands and mobilizing in unprecedented numbers to confront climate change. We are on the frontlines of an epic struggle that will determine the future of all. TRN rises alongside our people to demand an end to all forms of exploitative resource extraction that benefit the profit-motives of the few at the expense of the many. We call upon all our relatives–including our newly elected officials–to take action and join us in demanding:
- A complete moratorium on all BLM oil and gas leases in New Mexico including the BLM Farmington Field Office and Rio Puerco Lease Sales scheduled for December 2018 and March 2019
- Permanent protection of the Greater Chaco Region from all future oil and gas extraction activities
- Requirement that local NM governments notify and consult with tribes and local tribal governments including Navajo chapter houses, 20 Pueblos, and Hopi tribe on oil and gas leasing activities and regulations
- A comprehensive environmental impact assessment of hydrologic fracking on water and air quality
- A comprehensive health impact assessment on communities already impacted by produced water
- A halt to Holtec International’s construction of a nuclear fuel storage facility in an area where there is “increased seismic activity” due to the injection of produced water
- State moratorium on use of freshwater for fracking
- All intergovernmental workgroup meetings and/or conferences hosted by state agencies regarding streamlining of existing regulatory and permitting frameworks for re-use and recycle of waters originating from oil and natural gas activities are public
- Replace New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Ken McQueen, New Mexico Environment Department Cabinet Secretary Butch Tongate, and State Engineer Tom Blaine with appointees who do not have conflict of interest by having worked for or are heavily invested in and paid off by the oil and gas industry
#NoNewLeases #ProtectChacoCanyon #FrackOffChaco #FrackOffNM #WaterIsLife #KeepItInTheSoil #CantDrinkOil
For a complete analysis about the dangers of produced water, see:
For up-to-date information about the press conference and rally, visit our Facebook event page at:
Public ‘input’ can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 10th, 2018. Here is more information on the Memorandum of Understanding between the State of New Mexico, the EPA, and the Governance of Produced Water in NM.