FARMINGTON – Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has submitted a petition with more than 650 signatures of New Mexico citizens to agency director Neil Kornze asking the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reconsider its decision to delay the October 19th oil and gas lease sale near Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico and to hold the lease sale as originally scheduled.
In all, 651 New Mexicans, a majority of whom live in northwestern New Mexico, signed off on the letter, which was drafted after the BLM’s Farmington, N.M., Field Office decided earlier this month to postpone the lease sale of three parcels – or 2,122 acres – of public land near Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a World Heritage Site, until at least January.
“By delaying this lease sale, the BLM is adding economic strain to a state that is already under duress,” CEA President David Holt wrote in the letter. “The reality of this decision is that New Mexico will not create new jobs; will not realize millions in private investment, and new – greatly needed – tax revenue will not be collected to support New Mexico’s schools, public safety personnel, and municipal services, such as road repairs.”
Holt added that the delaying of a lease sale in a major gas-producing region such as this also ignores the growing importance of natural gas production to the U.S. and New Mexican economies and its pivotal role in producing both affordable, reliable energy sources for consumers but also in reducing carbon and other pollutant emissions.
“As hydraulic fracturing has opened new areas of low carbon shale gas, natural gas production is up 47 percent and the industry’s carbon emissions are down 21 percent,” Holt wrote. “Such improvements in carbon emissions have also been seen across all sector of the economy, including the auto and manufacturing industries.”
CEA is a national, non-profit trade association with nearly 300 affiliate members and more than 400,000 grassroots members – 3,500 of which reside in or near Farmington, N.M.
To view the petition click here.