Please Deny The SandRidge Zone Change Request!
This petition made change with 81 supporters!
My name is Michelle Kirn. I live in Rio Rancho, and I'm a social work student at Western New Mexico University. On December 10, 2015, I had just finished my last final for the semester when I got quite a surprise, but it was not a good one by any means. Happy to be on my winter break, I logged into my Facebook account to see what my friends, family, and neighbors were up to. It seems as a college student, I don't often have time to keep up with them.
There I was, happily scrolling through my newsfeed when a neighbor's post caught my eye: an energy company called SandRidge wanted to use fracking methods to dig for oil in our County. A town meeting was scheduled for later that evening, according to her post. As soon as I saw the word, "fracking" I felt concerned. I'd heard of fracking and had already read several articles about it, and why it's considered dangerous. I knew immediately I was against it and wanted to go to that meeting.
At the meeting, we learned more about the proposal from SandRidge. We found out that they wanted to dig an exploratory oil well, and if they found any oil, they had further hoped to dig production wells. But, in order to do that, they first needed to ask the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission to amend the existing zoning map. SandRidge would need the land rezoned from Residential to Special Use for oil digging. On November 10, 2015, SandRidge Energy did just that; they requested an approval of a Zone Map Amendment from the Commission. The amendment would allow SandRidge to dig for oil in Sandoval County. What all of this means is that if their request is approved, and SandRidge finds oil when they dig the exploratory well, there may be fracking in our area if they are able to dig production wells.
During the meeting, we also learned that currently, our County does not have any ordinances in place. In other words, there are no existing laws that would govern what SandRidge does, and how they do it. This means that our community is left vulnerable. We have no laws to help protect us.
Many of us left that meeting confused, concerned and with a lot of unanswered questions. Who was SandRidge? Why did they want to dig for oil when the price of oil is currently so low? What effect would fracking have on our community? How much water would they use to dig their wells? What about toxic chemicals, traffic congestion, and noise? It seemed the questions were endless.
A few days after the meeting, a Rio Rancho citizen started a Facebook Group to help raise awareness about the issue and to give citizens a place to voice their concerns and ask questions. Since then, our little group has learned a lot. We have also grown. We started with a few members and now we approach one-hundred. I am honored to be part of the group and help support my community.
We are citizens who would like to see Sandoval County say NO to SandRidge. Please deny the SandRidge zone change request. We are citizens who would like to see Sandoval County implement ordinances. We need time to investigate; how will drilling in our area affect our aquifer, residential wells, property values, roadways, traffic, air quality, soil, and local plant and animal life? We are a desert community with precious resources!
Please ask Director Michael Springfield, of the Sandoval County Planning and Zoning Commission, to deny the SandRidge request for a zone map amendment. We have no ordinances in place!
Please, help protect OUR community - sign the petition! Thank you!
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