NM county’s fracking ban now in question


WHAT NOW?: The defeat of a commissioner in a rural New Mexico county could mean big trouble for the fracking ban the county passed a year ago.

By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

One of the country’s strictest — and most controversial — bans on hydraulic fracturing may be in jeopardy.

Earlier this month, voters in Mora County, N.M., ousted the man who spearheaded an ordinance giving the local government power to permanently keep the entire county’s 1,933 square miles off-limits to any development of hydrocarbons — something critics say eradicates private property rights. The ban also prohibits hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”

The defeat of commissioner John Olivas, by more than 25 points to George Trujillo, could mean trouble for the ban, which has plunged the county into two potentially expensive lawsuits.

Rob Nikolewski, editor of New Mexico Watchdog, talked about the implications the Olivas defeat may have on the ban while appearing on the public affairs program, “New Mexico In Focus,” seen across most of the state on New Mexico PBS. Nikolewski was joined by Julie Ann Grimm, the editor of the Santa Fe Reporter, and host Gene Grant:

Click here to read more about the Mora County election and what it may mean for the fracking ban.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski