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First County in U.S. Bans Oil and Gas Extraction

In a press release by Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, Thomas Linzey, Esq. announces that Mora County, NM has become the first county in the US to ban oil and gas extraction via an “ordinance that calls for a State Constitutional Amendment to elevate the Rights of Communities above Corporate ‘Rights’ … and establishes a local Bill of Rights – including a right to clean air and water, a right to a healthy environment, and the rights of nature – while prohibiting activities which would interfere with those rights, including oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking,’ for shale gas.”

Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund CELDF.org

First County in U.S. Bans Oil and Gas Extraction
Mora County, NM, Ordinance Includes Ban on Fracking

Ordinance calls for a State Constitutional Amendment to
Elevate the Rights of Communities Above Corporate “Rights”

Media Release:  April 29, 2013

Contact:
Thomas Linzey, Esq.
(978) 282-0110
tal@pa.net
www.CELDF.org

Mora County, NM: Earlier today, the County Commission of Mora County, located in Northeastern New Mexico, became the first county in the United States to pass an ordinance banning all oil and gas extraction.

Drafted with assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance establishes a local Bill of Rights – including a right to clean air and water, a right to a healthy environment, and the rights of nature – while prohibiting activities which would interfere with those rights, including oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” for shale gas.

Communities across the country are facing drilling and fracking. Fracking brings significant  environmental impacts including the production of millions of gallons of toxic wastewater, which can affect drinking water and waterways. Studies have also found that fracking is a major global warming contributor, and have linked the underground disposal of frack wastewater to earthquakes.

CELDF Executive Director Thomas Linzey, Esq., explained, “Existing state and federal oil and gas laws force fracking and other extraction activities into communities, overriding concerns of residents. Today’s vote in Mora County is a clear rejection of this structure of law which elevates corporate rights over community rights, which protects industry over people and the natural environment.”

He stated further that, “This vote is a clear expression of the rights guaranteed in the New Mexico Constitution which declares that all governing authority is derived from the people. With this vote,  Mora is joining a growing people’s movement for community and nature’s rights.”

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