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NM needs a diverse economy featuring small businesses

I am concerned about the proposed fracking site on private property by Oklahoma’s SandRidge Energy. It will use public water utilities and infrastructure. It will sit atop our aquifer. Poor air quality and water contamination is a given. Farmington has a methane cloud the size of Delaware hanging above it. L.A. County has a fracking wastewater well spewing into the community.

For more than a century, New Mexico has been an industrial machine, a “banana republic.” It has fostered a dependence on outside entities – Department of Energy, multi-national mining corporations, non-New Mexican oil/gas companies. They exploit our natural resources. We continue to be woefully underdeveloped and under-diversified in our economy. Interests plunder our resources and take the wealth. We rank (near the bottom) in education, availability of health care, income, school enrollment, death and drug abuse. In other word – our kids are in trouble.

Public skepticism and mistrust of Big Government giveaways is at an all-time high. Overriding the overwhelming public dissent to this project would be a mistake. Allowing outside corporations to continue to rule N.M. as a “banana republic” would be a mistake.

We need elected leaders who can create an economic engine that runs on a diverse portfolio of many small businesses. Ideas and innovative thinking, renewable energy and a well-educated populace are the future. Prostitution of the fickle oil and gas industry destroys our human- and land-based communities. Its legacy is debt, environmental destruction, mass profits for a few and stranded assets. Is this our future?

SandRidge Energy, with its miserable economic and environmental record, is set to sue the city and overturn the rights of the community to choose clean air, water and soil and their vision for the common good.

If Rio Rancho is a City of Vision, lead us to a new future. Stand with the community’s common health and good.

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