I attended the last Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting (Thursday) and was quite happy to see the mayor of Bernalillo speak out against SandRidge Energy’s oil drilling application near the city of Rio Rancho’s water wells.
Fracking was, of course, the main target; however, the lack of financial muscle of SandRidge also became a topic as their fiscal solvency is in doubt.
SandRidge’s legal problems due to fracking (in Oklahoma) came to light due to earthquakes, health issues, housing fissures and roads buckling.
But what was most disturbing was that our mayor of Rio Rancho did not even bother to show up, much less speak at an event that directly impacts his constituents.
There were many Rio Rancho citizens present who voiced concerns and didn’t see any of the Rio Rancho political establishment during this very important dialogue.
At the Rio Rancho City Council meeting the night before, several city councilors expressed a willingness to investigate SandRidge and seemed perplexed about why nobody from SandRidge had approached them to discuss this issue.
However, at (the) county meeting, SandRidge stated that their firm has already discussed this with the Rio Rancho Water Authority and gave the impression that the oil well in our backyard was already a “done deal.”
SandRidge stated that they’ll have people from Farmington or Hobbs to work on the rig pad and drive the heavy disposal water trucks.
So the tired argument of this action bringing jobs to Rio Rancho is laughable, unless selling an extra McDonald’s hamburger or two qualifies.
The SandRidge oil drilling application was put on hold and will be brought up again at the next Sandoval County Planning and Zoning meeting Jan. 28.
I hope the many citizens who spoke at the county meeting make it a point to voice their opinion at the next Rio Rancho City Council meeting Jan. 13.
I must request that our City Council put the SandRidge infringement on our water supply on January’s agenda for public discussion.
Considering that 22 percent of our water supply is in question, let’s hope that our political leaders take some time from their busy schedules to attend the next county meeting, as your re-election is fast approaching.