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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12,000 New Mexicans Ask Gov. Susana Martinez to Protect the Pit Rule

From the SouthWest Organizing Project:
Groups and Community Activists Hold Press Conference in Albuquerque Thursday to discuss 12,000 New Mexico petitions in support of our strong Pit Rule; Petitions delivered to Gov. Susana Martinez in Santa Fe

In September, the Chile Lovers of New Mexico delivered a petition composed of over 10,000 signatures from New Mexicans in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho in support of protecting New Mexico’s landmark Pit Rule to Governor Susana Martinez. Since then, an additional 3,000 New Mexicans from our rural communities have spoken up in support of a strong Pit Rule.

The Pit Rule is an important safeguard that protects our land and groundwater from oil and gas industry waste. Currently, Martinez’s Oil Conservation Commission is considering dismantling the Pit Rule in ways that will hinder its ability to protect the land and water that sustains all New Mexicans.

The commission has delayed making a final decision several times, and is set to reconvene in January. Supporters of a strong Pit Rule are asking Governor Susana Martinez to not change the rule by adopting amendments proposed by the oil and gas industry.

Who: New Mexicans in support of protecting the Pit Rule and our groundwater
What: Press conference
When: Noon, Thursday, Dec. 13
Where: Washington Park at Park and 10th Streets, Albuquerque

What: Petition delivery in Santa Fe
When: 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13
Where: Gov. Martinez’s office, Santa Fe

The Chile Lovers of New Mexico is a collaboration between the Southwest Organizing Project and the Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund.

The Pit Rule is a law that protects New Mexico’s land and water by ensuring that industries properly line their waste pits to prevent contamination. Before the law was enacted in 2008, there were over 400 known cases of groundwater contamination that could be linked directly to poorly maintained oil and gas industry waste pits. Since then, there have been zero known cases.

December 12, 2012 at 04:19 PM in Action Alerts, Environment, Mining, Susana Martinez | Permalink


Can Governor Susana Martinez change the rule by adopting amendments proposed by the oil and gas industry? How can she? Does she have the power? Isn't the pit rule a matter of law beholden to the legislature?

Posted by: qofdisks | Dec 12, 2012 7:13:36 PM

The pit rule isn't in statute... It was adopted into the state Administrative Code by the Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) under Richardson's administration, so is now vulnerable to being dismantled by Martinez's OCC. The legislature has not yet seen fit to pass this common-sense safeguard, despite the risks to groundwater from toxic oil and gas wastes.

Posted by: lealeith | Dec 13, 2012 8:24:13 AM

12,000 is a number she will gladly ignore in favor of the corporations that benefit. The people don't count for much. Unless they are corporate "people."

Posted by: bg | Dec 15, 2012 8:25:42 AM