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People to People Blog: Why Mora County New Mexico is Fighting Frackers for Your Rights, too
by Kiara CollinsGlobal Exchange
June 10th, 2014
Global Exchange's Kiara Collins explores Mora County, NM's, fight for all communities' rights.
Outside: The Mother of All Anti-Fracking Tools
by Jacob BaynhamOutside
May 26th, 2014
Do Community Rights to clean air and water, and to local self-governance, outweigh corporate claimed rights to frack? Mora County, NM, says they do, and a legal battle that will impact the nation begins.
Albuquerque Journal: Fracking ban an issue in Mora County races
by T.S. LastAlbuquerque Journal
May 23rd, 2014
Mora County, NM's Community Water Rights and Local Self-Governance ordinance, adopted a year ago and now being challenged by fracking corporate interests, is at the center of the upcoming County Commission election.
The Nation: Why Are Fracking Hopefuls Suing a County in New Mexico?
by Simon Davis-CohenThe Nation
May 12th, 2014
Mora County, NM, asserts community rights to protect their land over corporate claimed "rights" to frack, as corporations sue Mora in federal court.
Written Word, Spoken Word: No Fences in the Valley
by Frances MadesonWritten Word, Spoken Word
April 29th, 2014
The people who have lived on Mora County, NM, land for generations, see Community Rights and the Mora County Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking as a social and environmental justice issue, as they defend their Ordinance against several corporate lawsuits.
The Las Vegas Optic: Money Or Natural Resources
by Marleny AlfaroThe Las Vegas Optic
April 24th, 2014
In a Letter-to-the-Editor, Marleny Alfaro defends Mora County's Community Bill of Rights banning fracking against fears of litigation costs. Alfaro likens Mora's stand with that of Rosa Parks and Civil Rights workers.
The Las Vegas Optic: Incumbent put in spotlight
by Martin SalazarThe Las Vegas Optic
April 10th, 2014
Las Vegas, NM's anti-Community Rights Mayor Alfonso Ortiz plays politics by proposing and voting to adopt a non-binding resolution declaring a Community Bill of Rights banning fracking, adopted in 2012 by City Council, is null and void.
Las Vegas Optic: Two Letters to the Editor re Mora County, NM
by Nancy Quintana and Gilbert QuintanaLas Vegas Optic
April 3rd, 2014
Residents of Mora County, NM, declare right to water and life are elevated above right to property.
Las Vegas Optic: Drilling law hits hurdle
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
March 13th, 2014
San Miguel County, NM, residents bring forward a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking to County Commissioners.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Land grant group joins Mora fight against oil drilling
by Staci MatlockSanta Fe New Mexican
March 13th, 2014
Mora County, NM, is defending its Community Bill of Rights banning fracking against corporate law suits. The Mora Co Land Grant Association and a private individual filed as intervenors in support of the Mora County Commission, taking a stand for communites' rights.
Press Release: Mora Land Grant and Mora citizen intervene in lawsuit to protect Mora’s Community Rights Ordinance
March 6th, 2014
Trustees for the Mora Land Grant and a resident of Mora County file a motion to intervene in a suit by Swepi, LP, a subsidiary of Shell Oil that is suing Mora County to overturn its Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking.
Las Vegas Optic: Group pushing for rights ordinance
by Kathleen DudleyThe Las Vegas Optic
February 27th, 2014
San Miguel County, NM, County Commissioners being urged by a local Community Rights group to adopt a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Mora County faces new lawsuit over drilling ban
by Staci MatlockSanta Fe New Mexican
January 20th, 2014
Mora County, NM, residents asserting their Community Rights to protect their water from fracking, face off against a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary declaring Mora residents have no right to make the decisions about what happens in their community.
E&E Publishing: New Mexico County Sued Again Over its Fracking Ban
by Mike LeeE&E Publishing
January 17th, 2014
Mora County, NM, which adopted a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance banning fracking in April 2013, is now being sued by an international oil company for daring to violate corporate claimed "rights," as the County Commissioners assert Community Rights to protect their county's air and water.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Mora County is leading the way
by Harry MontoyaSanta Fe New Mexican
December 1st, 2013
Former Santa Fe County Commissioner Harry Montoya applauds Mora County Commissioners for their Community Rights ordinance banning fracking, and recognizes the lawsuit filed by corporate interests reveals the issue at hand: "[W]hose rights must, in the end, prevail - community majorities or corporate minorities?"
Green Fire Times: Mora County Commission Votes to Defend the CELDF Bill of Rights Ordinance
Green Fire Times
November 30th, 2013
Mora County Commissioners vote to defend their Community Rights ordinance, asserting Community Rights over corporate privileges.
Las Vegas Optic: God Bless Mora County
by Diana PresserLas Vegas Optic
November 27th, 2013
New Mexico resident urges San Miguel County to follow Mora County in adopting a Community Bill of Rights and protecting residents and ecosystems over corporate "rights" to cause harm.
Las Vegas Optic: David and Goliath in Mora County
by Molly Smollett, Lee Einer, et.al.Las Vegas Optic
November 27th, 2013
New Mexico residents applaud Mora County asserting their unalienable right to local self-government, regardless of claimed corporate "rights." And to those arguing that Community Rights are unconstitutional: So was abolishing slavery and establishing women's right to vote.
Santa Fe New Mexican: World is watching Mora County battle vs. fracking
by Staci MatlockSanta Fe New Mexican
November 23rd, 2013
Mora County, NM's, stand against corporate "rights" - prohibiting fracking through a Community Bill of Rights ordinance - remains strong in the face of industry's challenge in district court.
Grassroots Press: Mora County Commission Votes to Defend its CELDF Bill of Rights Ordinance that Bans Fracking
Grassroots Press
November 20th, 2013
The Mora County Commission voted unanimously yesterday in an historical vote to defend its CELDF Community Rights ordinance rather than to dismiss the ordinance.
Heartlander Magazine: The Fracking Fight Goes Way Left
by Marita NoonHeartlander Magazine
November 18th, 2013
The gas and oil industry moves forward to stop the Community Rights movement before it spreads further.
E&E News: County Defends its Fracking Ban as it Declares Corporations Aren't People
by Mike LeeE & E Publishing
November 18th, 2013
[Correction: CELDF assists communities in drafting Community Rights laws. The Dryden, NY, ordinance banning fracking is not a Community Rights ordinance, and we did not assist in its drafting, as this article indicates.]
Climate Progress: Is Fracking a Civil Right?
by Emily AtkinClimate Progress
November 16th, 2013
Corporations and one person file suit claiming violations of 1st, 5th, & 14th amendment rights by the Mora County, NM, Community Rights Ordinance banning fracking. At stake: do corporate claimed "rights" to frack supersede Community Rights to clean air, water, and the right to local self-governance?
Gas Daily: Producers Sue New Mexico County Over [Community Rights] Drilling Ban
by Jim MagillGas Daily
November 15th, 2013
Corporate claims to constitutional "rights" come up against Mora County's Community Rights to make the decisions about those things directly impacting them - including protecting their water.
Las Vegas Optic: SM Commission extending drilling moratorium
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
November 14th, 2013
San Miguel County, NM, residents urge the County Commissioners to use the fracking moratorium period to enact a Community Bill of Rights ordinance similar to neighboring Mora County's, protecting the people and prohibiting fracking.
Las Vegas Optic: Mora sued over [Community Rights] ordinance
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
November 14th, 2013
Corporate plaintiffs complain that their "right" to profits (among others) are usurped by Mora County's Community Rights law asserting their community's right to local self-governance and banning fracking.
SF Gate: Oil and gas ban spurs lawsuit in NM county
by Susan Montoya BryanSF Gate
November 13th, 2013
Mora County, NM, is ready to defend its Community Rights Ordinance banning fracking as a violation of the community's right to clean water.
Written Word, Spoken Word: Glad You're Waking Up To This
by Frances MadesonWritten Word, Spoken Word
November 13th, 2013
Blogger Frances Madeson gives a survey of the devastation from corporate activities, including fracking, that was presented by residents at the New Mexico Community Rights Symposium recently held in Santa Fe - as well as the Community Rights movement forming in response.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Mora County sued over oil-drilling ban
by Steve TerrellSanta Fe New Mexican
November 13th, 2013
Mora County Commissioners - voted into office on a Community Rights platform to stop fracking - are ready to face the oil and gas industry's challenge to the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance adopted in April.
KOB Eyewitness News 4: Mora County oil and gas drilling ban heading to court
by Maria GuerreroKOB Eyewitness News 4
November 13th, 2013
The oil and gas industry sues Mora County, NM, - the 1st County in the U.S. to adopt a Community Bill of Rights banning fracking - arguing property rights come before rights to protect water.
The Las Vegas Optic: Community rights laws defended
by Martin SalazarThe Las Vegas Optic
November 10th, 2013
CELDF's Thomas Linzey speaks to over 100 in Las Vegas, NM, on a new Community Rights movement to change the existing structure of unjust law, drawing parallels with the Abolitionists and other grassroots movements.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Crusade to ban fracking gains steam in San Miguel County
by Staci MatlockSanta Fe New Mexican
October 18th, 2013
San Miguel County, NM, residents seek a fracking ban similar to Mora County's Community Bill of Rights that banned fracking, adopted by County Commissioners in April of this year.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Law center to help Mora County uphold fracking ban
Santa Fe New Mexican
July 25th, 2013
The Santa Fe-based New Mexico Environmental Law Center will represent Mora County, NM, if its Community Rights ordinance banning fracking is challenged in court.
Las Vegas Optic: Another Perspective - The right to ban fracking
by Thomas Linzey, Esq.Las Vegas Optic
July 15th, 2013
CELDF's Executive Director Thomas Linzey counters a legal opinion on the constitutionality of the Las Vegas, NM, Community Rights Ordinance, and the rights of Las Vegas residents to say "No!" to fracking.
Green Fire Times: Our Constitutions are the Avenue to Change the Injustice
by Kathleen DudleyGreen Fire Times
July 5th, 2013
CELDF's organizer in New Mexico, Kathleen Dudley, writes about the growing numbers of communities across the country moving forward to create the communities they envision by asserting their Community Rights to say "NO" to corporate led harms, and "YES" to sustainable communities and local self-governance.
Rio Grand Sierran: Mora and beyond: constitutions are avenue to change
by Kathleen DudleyRio Grande Sierran
June 26th, 2013
Growing numbers of communities, including Mora County, NM, ask CELDF's help in establishing Community Bills of Rights to stop threats to residents and ecosystems, and asserting rights to local self-governance.
E & E Publishing: N.M. county on fracking ban: 'We're not done yet'
by April ReeseE & E Publishing
June 12th, 2013
Mora County, NM, County Commissioners tighten their Community Bill of Rights ordinance to ban fracking.
Green Fire Times: Mora County Community Rights Law: Self-Determination
by Kathleen DudleyGreen Fire Times
June 1st, 2013
The Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance confronts the status quo and insists on Community Rights.
Santa Fe New Mexican: Rights-of-way, GMOs, fracking: Issues of worth
by Orlando RomeroSanta Fe New Mexican
May 28th, 2013
Santa Fe New Mexican columnist Orlando Romero celebrates Mora County, NM, for taking a stand to protect the water and environment by passing a Community Bill of Rights banning fracking.
Los Angeles Times: New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water
by Julie CartLos Angeles Times
May 28th, 2013
Mora County, New Mexico residents stand behind Mora County Commissioners adoption of the first county-wide Community Rights ordinance banning fracking, stating that water is more important than oil.
Public News Service: Fracking Being Challenged on Federal and Local Fronts
by Renee BlakePublic News Service
May 21st, 2013
CELDF's Community Organizer Kathleen Dudley is interviewed about Mora County's groundbreaking step as the first county in the U.S. to adopt a Community Bill of Rights banning fracking.
The Taos News: Oil, gas extraction ban: Mora leaders push for 'sustainable' growth
by Eric HeinzThe Taos News
May 19th, 2013
Mora County Commissioners, passing the first county-level Community Bill of Rights ordinance banning fracking, focus on sustainable agriculture and eco-tourism to promote the county.
Las Vegas Optic: Letters to the Editor
Las Vegas Optic
May 19th, 2013
Letters to the Editor in the Las Vegas Optic supporting and critiquing Mora County's adoption of a Community Bill of Rights.
Las Vegas Optic: Lawyers lining up to help
Las Vegas Optic
May 12th, 2013
Attorneys in 5 states pledge to provide support to Mora County if their Community Bill of Rights is challenged. In a letter to Mora County, attorneys stated that "'Mora County’s recognition of, and assertion of, the right to self-government on behalf of the people of Mora County is the thread that combines all of the communities in which we work. Thus, when one government advances that work, everyone moves closer to securing that right at every level of government.’”
Sangre de Cristo Chronicle: Mora County Commission bans oil, gas extraction
by Eric HeinzSangre de Cristo Chronicle
May 11th, 2013
CELDF comment: This article indicates the Mora County Commissioners issued a press release stating they were the first municipality in the country to ban fracking. This is incorrect; the press release indicated correctly that Mora County's Community Bill of Rights is the first county-level ordinance to ban fracking as a violation of residents' community bill of rights. More than a dozen other communities in five states have adopted similar ordinances at the township, town, and city levels.
The Pacific Northwest Inlander: Power to the People
by Thomas Linzey, Esq.The Pacific Northwest Inlander
May 10th, 2013
Spokane, WA, and Mora Co, NM: two very different communities with a shared determination to adopt enforceable Community Bills of Rights.
ABQ Journal: The fundamental right to say 'no'
by Kathleen DudleyABQ Journal
May 8th, 2013
The votes cast for the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance, were votes for self-determination and for democracy.
La Jicarita: Mora County Takes a Stand
by Kay MatthewsLa Jicarita
May 7th, 2013
It’s already all over the news, in both New Mexico and the nation. Mora County has taken a stand: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation to engage in the extraction of oil, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons within Mora County.” With that statement northern New Mexico’s Mora County becomes the first county in the U.S. to ban oil and gas development by ordinance.
Watchdog.org: Lawsuits likely after NM county passes ban on oil and gas drilling
by Rob Nikolewski Watchdog.org
May 6th, 2013
Mora Co, NM County Commissioners prepared to defend the first-in-the-nation county-level Community Bill of Rights.
The Santa Fe New Mexican: Our view: Battle sounds over oil and gas
The Santa Fe New Mexican
May 5th, 2013
In Mora Co, NM, the gas and oil industry says Mora Co Commissioners are throwing away jobs and revenue. Mora Co Commissioners say they'd rather protect the land and water that communities will need long after the gas is gone.
ABQ Journal.com: Mora County bans oil, gas drilling
by T.S. LastABQ Journal.com
May 5th, 2013
Mora County has sent notice that the petroleum industry is not welcome, becoming the first county in the nation to ban oil and gas drilling within its boundaries.
New Mexico Watchdog: Get ready for lawsuits after Mora County passes oil and gas ban
by Rob Nikolewski New Mexico Watchdog
May 3rd, 2013
As Mora Co, NM, County Commissioners take a stand to protect water and assert Community Rights - the first county level of government in the nation to do so - gas and oil industry officials mull over lawsuit.
The Raton Range: Colfax’s neighbor bans oil, gas extraction; Mora County claims to be first county in nation with such a law
by Todd WildermuthThe Raton Range
May 3rd, 2013
Mora County Commissioners urge state legislature to follow them in banning fracking.
Las Vegas Optic: Letters to the Editor
Las Vegas Optic
May 2nd, 2013
In Mora Co, NM, citizens supporting Mora County's Community Bill of Rights speak out.
The Las Vegas Optic: Mora Republican Decries Ordinance
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
May 2nd, 2013
While Mora Co's Republican Part chairman speaks out in favor of gas drilling for jobs, supporters of the county's Community Bill of Rights argue that economic benefits are short-lived, and the community must protect its land and water.
First County in U.S. Bans Fracking - Mora County NM
May 2nd, 2013
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.”
SustainableBusiness.com: Mora County, New Mexico Asserts Rights to Community Control, Rights of Nature
SustainableBusiness.com
May 1st, 2013
Located in Northern New Mexico, the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance establishes a local Bill of Rights that notably includes the right to clean air, water, a healthy environment and the rights of nature. It prohibits activities which would interfere with those rights, including oil drilling and hydraulic fracturing for shale gas.
EcoWatch: First County in U.S. Bans Oil and Gas Extraction
EcoWatch
April 30th, 2013
Mora Co, NM, County Commissioners make history as the first county in the U.S. to pass an ordinance banning oil and gas extraction.
Las Vegas Optic:
by Mercy López and Martín SalazarLas Vegas Optic
April 30th, 2013
MORA — In a split vote on Monday, the Mora County Commission approved a community water rights and self-government ordinance, becoming the first county in the United States to permanently ban oil and gas drilling.
The Republic: NM county bans all oil and natural gas extraction, cites need to protect groundwater
by Susan Montoya BryanAssociate Press, The Republic
April 30th, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A sparsely populated county in northern New Mexico has taken aim at the oil and natural gas industry, approving an ordinance that outlaws the extraction of the natural resources and puts the county's decision-making rights ahead of business interests and federal and state permits.
Greenwire: NEW MEXICO: More counties craft drilling rules amid uptick in exploration
by April ReeseGreenwire
February 27th, 2013
Over the past few years, oil and gas companies have taken an interest in new areas of New Mexico that may contain untapped reserves. But environmental groups and some residents fear that if those leases are developed, drilling could foul increasingly coveted water resources amid a punishing drought and fragment wildlife habitat in some of the most picturesque places in the state....Last summer, drilling critics formed the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights...It's part of a larger, national effort spearheaded by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to get ordinances in place across the country that assert the rights of communities over the rights of corporations...
Ecowatch: Ban Fracking Campaign, from Ireland to New Mexico
by Kathleen DudleyEcowatch
February 19th, 2013
A number of local grassroots groups fighting fracking in New Mexico are launching a billboard and yard sign campaign. Citizens from the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights, Drilling Mora County, and Committee for Clean Water, Air and Earth completed the Water, Not Fracking, Community Rights for Mora and San Miguel Counties yard sign and billboard campaign this month. Today citizens are installing graphic Coca Cola red and white cows with strong pronouncements that industry is not welcome to frack their counties. Joining in solidarity with the work of citizens in Ireland, people in New Mexico are getting the message out that they do indeed have the rights to protect their communities from industry’s assaults against their pristine rural agricultural towns.
Las Vegas Optic: Drilling advocates take aim: Funding, local authority to regulate industry targeted
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
February 14th, 2013
Powerful supporters of the oil and gas industry have taken off their gloves, mounting a multi-faceted offensive against cities and counties that have been stifling drilling activities. Several state representatives have signed a letter to Gov. Susana Martinez that one environmental activist likened to a veiled blackmail threat. The letter effectively asks the governor to think twice before approving capital outlay requests from communities that restrict “extractive industries” like oil and gas given that a significant portion of capital outlay funds are generated from drilling and mining activities in the state.
Las Vegas Optic: Letter to the Editor: 'We the people' paying the price
by John BishLas Vegas Optic
February 7th, 2013
I am a resident of Las Vegas, a taxpayer and a citizen concerned about the safety of the community. My considerations roam through history, economics and justice....In these times, we the people , who are the wealth of the nation, have been led to believe in the comforts that enterprise and commerce offer, without consideration of the costs of such comforts. We have been sold a belief in Comforts at any Cost. The costs are mounting and more visible, now. The costs have been externalized, and internalized....Some of the people in the county promote the local drilling enterprise so they can “make a killing” in a search for profits. I encourage them and you to consider who, and for how long, you are willing to be killing.
Las Vegas Optic: Letter to the Editor: Why was Mr. Einer's petition denied?
by Judi JeffriesLas Vegas Optic
February 7th, 2013
I just read the informative (Feb. 1) article “Activist sues county clerk”, by Martin Salazar and my first response was, What? How is it possible that the county clerk could stop a petition from moving forward? It is my understanding that she is in the position to review a petition for content and form and nothing more. So, how could Rivera have denied Mr. (Lee) Einer’s petition in the first place? What right did Rivera have to deny him, and by what authority? Mr. Einer had every right to present his petition —Bill of Rights, Home Rule, letting the people decide, great concept — as does every citizen, in my opinion.
Las Vegas Optic: Activist sues county clerk - Latest chapter in oil and gas drilling controversy
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
January 31st, 2013
An attorney for a local activist who is fighting to keep oil and gas drilling out of San Miguel County has filed suit against County Clerk Melanie Rivera, arguing that her refusal to sign off on a home rule petition is a violation of state law....The home rule petition seeks to force the county to appoint a charter commission to prepare a new charter for the county. Specifically, the petition requests a charter that recognizes a community bill of rights within San Miguel County, that bans the extraction of oil and gas within the county and that elevates the Bill of Rights above rights claimed by corporations operating in the county. The lawsuit is the latest chapter in the ongoing battle over whether to allow oil and gas drilling and fracking in San Miguel County....Einer's efforts are backed by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit, public interest law firm providing legal services to communities thought to be facing a threat to their environment.
Lee Einer of the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights, interviews CELDF's Thomas Linzey, E.D., in the Fall 2012 edition of EcoSource Magazine
December 23rd, 2012
Linzey begins by reframing the regulatory system, including the permitting process, as regulating the rate of destruction of nature, and the impact corporate “rights” has on communities that want to protect nature. He talks about the groundwork being laid today by communities passing Community Bill of Rights that ultimately will drive constitutional change to create a new legal framework stripping corporate "rights" and recognizing nature’s and communities’ rights.
Las Vegas Optic: Letter-to-the-Editor: As For Fracking, Just Say No
by Jesús A. RivasLas Vegas Optic
December 20th, 2012
I have already pointed out four of the misinformation about fracking that Mr. John Bemis [Secretary of Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department with 20 years with the oil and gas industry prior], gave out. He also said a fifth misinformation and a veiled threat for those who oppose fracking: Misinformation No. 5: Preventing fracking will violate the rights of the people. Of course the people whose right Mr. Bemis is concerned about are the oil and gas corporations, not the rights of the actual people to have clean water. But let’s consider for a second that the rights of corporations are comparable to the rights of real people. Is the right to make money for a handful of corporations comparable to the rights of 40,000-plus San Miguel and Mora county residents to have clean drinking water ?
View the trailer for “Rooted Lands – Tierras Arraigadas,” chronicling Community Rights organizing in New Mexico to protect residents and the land
by CELDF
October 2nd, 2012
View the trailer for “Rooted Lands – Tierras Arraigadas,” chronicling Mora County, NM residents’ grassroots efforts leading to the first Community Rights Ordinance in the county, and how it is drawing communities together from across the state to stop gas and oil drilling and assert community rights and the rights of nature.
Journal North: Group Seeks To Prohibit Fracking
by T.S. LastJournal North
September 27th, 2012
A grassroots group is working on two fronts to try to get both the city of Las Vegas and San Miguel County to place a ban on gas, oil and geothermal drilling. The Community for Clean Water Air and Earth is still pushing a “community rights ordinance” that would keep hydraulic fracturing – better known as fracking – out of Las Vegas but which the mayor has blocked.... The Las Vegas City Council passed the ordinance by a 3-1 vote in April.... [T]here is now a petition circulating encouraging the San Miguel County Commission to adopt a similar community bill of rights. She said the petition could contain as many as 2,000 signatures when it is submitted to the county clerk, likely sometime this week.
Las Vegas Optic Letter-to-the-Editor: Ordinance Would be a "Betrayal"
by Lee EinerLas Vegas Optic
September 20th, 2012
We’ve been conditioned to think that giving industry a seat at the regulatory table is reasonable, but the truth its that the practice is absolutely imbecilic. The need for regulation arises because industries are unwilling to do the right thing in the first place, and because their past patterns of behavior, placing profit before the welfare of communities and ecosystems, have resulted in grievous harm to communities and the natural resources upon which those communities depend. Allowing these industries to shape the regulations intended to restrain their own bad behavior is foolish and counterproductive.
Las Vegas Optic: Interim fracking ban OKd
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
September 20th, 2012
The City Council by a 3-1 vote on Wednesday evening passed a moratorium on all oil, gas and geothermal drilling within city limits following a rancorous exchange between members of the public and city officials....The agenda item once again drew attention to the community rights ordinance, which imposes a permanent ban on fracking. Three of four councilors voted to approve it in April. Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, however, has refused to sign that ordinance, which seeks to limit the rights currently enjoyed by corporations, because he and the city attorney contend that it is unconstitutional and violates the city charter.
Las Vegas Optic Letter-to-the-Editor: Fracking poison water, air, us
by Diana PresserLas Vegas Optic
September 9th, 2012
I want to thank Tom McDonald for his (Aug. 27) editorial asserting what the oil and gas industry’s carpet-baggers will not tell you, our commissioners (including Ron Ortega), or Ron Barela; namely, that the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), over 60 years and a million wells later, has proven to cause irreparable harm to the groundwater, livestock and humans living on or near fracking sites. The long and well documented history of “fraccidents” (including fatalities) speaks for itself.
CELDF Assists New Mexico Communities to Launch Statewide Coalition to Advocate for Community Rights
New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights
June 18th, 2012
This month, citizens from several New Mexico communities formally launched the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights (NMCCR) The creation of the New Mexico Coalition follows on the heels of the adoption by the City Council of Las Vegas, New Mexico of the first Community Rights Ordinance in the State. That ordinance creates a Community Bill of Rights and bans natural gas fracking within the municipality. The Coalition will work to support the residents of Las Vegas, New Mexico to enforce their ordinance, and will work to replicate the ordinances across the State of New Mexico. The Coalition will also host trainings across the State for those communities who want to follow the lead of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
Las Vegas Optic: Mayor told to sign law or resign
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
May 24th, 2012
It’s been more than seven weeks since the City Council voted 3-1 to approve an anti-fracking ordinance, but the law has yet to be added to the municipal code book because of the mayor’s refusal to sign it. On Wednesday, supporters of the controversial community rights ordinance showed up en masse to confront Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, telling him he had no authority to block the ordinance and calling on the Council to remove him from office if he refuses to sign it. “It appears that you’re overstepping your boundaries,” Miguel Pacheco said during the public input portion of Wednesday’s City Council meeting. “Mayor, I don’t understand how you can override that vote...,” he later added. “Where’s our democracy?” Lee Einer called the mayor’s action “disgraceful,” alleging that Ortiz is in violation of state law and the city charter and that it constitutes malfeasance. He told Ortiz he needs to sign it or resign....
SantaFe.com: The Cultural Reemergence of Democracy
by Faren DancerSantaFe.com
April 24th, 2012
In these challenging, if not fascinating, times, there is opportunity for advancing ourselves individually and as a culture. The sense of powerlessness that comes with scarcity, is readily offset by a creative resolve and the reinvention of one’s personal status quo. When it comes to the larger cultural phenomenon of citizens and communities taking back the inherent, inalienable rights upon which our republic was founded, this grassroots effort demonstrates that democracy may be alive and well. The progress toward personal and community empowerment is being driven by what is just and sustainable for the future of our children and our environment....The CELDF mission is to change the very fabric of our constitutional law, whereas communities, municipalities and local citizens would have the ultimate control over their own land, resources, water tables, watersheds, lakes and streams. Doesn’t this sound like the way it should be?
CELDF Press Release: Las Vegas, New Mexico, Adopts Community Bill of Rights; Bans Corporations from Fracking for Shale Gas
by CELDF
April 15th, 2012
(Monday, April 2, 2012- Las Vegas, NM) In front of a standing-room only crowd of residents, by a vote of 3-1, the City Council, Las Vegas, New Mexico enacted the Las Vegas Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance, drafted by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which places into law a local Bill of Rights, including the right of all residents, natural communities and ecosystems to water from natural sources, the right of residents to unpolluted water for use in agriculture, the rights of natural ecosystems to exist and flourish, and of residents to protect their environment by enforcing these rights. Also enumerated is the right to a sustainable energy future, and the right to local self-government.
The Light of New Mexico: LV Community Rights / Fracking ordinance unsigned
by Lee EinerThe Light of New Mexico
April 11th, 2012
Las Vegas’ mayor publicly supports Community Rights Ordinance while working behind the scenes to kill it. The city of Las Vegas, NM was considering passage of a popular ordinance shortly before a runoff election between the seated mayor, Alfonso Ortiz, and city councilman Tonita Gurule-Giron. Opposing the ordinance publicly would cost votes in a close electoral race. What to do? The answer, apparently, was to publicly support the ordinance while working behind the scenes to kill it, or at least postpone the vote for passage until after the April 17th election—even if that meant quietly violating the directives of the city council.
ABQ Journal: N.M. Town Targets ‘Fracking’
by Mark OswaldABQ Journal
April 6th, 2012
SANTA FE – Its own lawyer calls the move unconstitutional; its insurer says it may not be able to offer coverage for a legal battle. Despite those objections, the Las Vegas, N.M., City Council passed an ordinance targeting “fracking” that bans drilling for oil or gas within the city limits or the Las Vegas watershed....The Las Vegas ordinance is called the Las Vegas Community Bill of Rights and Local Self-Governance Ordinance. Among the rights asserted in the ordinance are rights to water and to water for agriculture, “rights of natural communities,” “right to a sustainable energy future,” and the right to self-government.
uncommontary: Victory in Vegas
by John McAndrewuncommontary
April 5th, 2012
[W]e have another victory to celebrate, this time in Las Vegas, New Mexico. As an article in the Las Vegas Optic explains, "The ordinance seeks to elevate the civil rights of the community and of its natural resources while limiting the rights currently enjoyed by corporations."
Las Vegas Optic: Letters to the Editor
Las Vegas Optic
April 5th, 2012
The Las Vegas City Council made an historical vote in northern New Mexico this week, passing the Las Vegas Community Bill of Rights and Local Self-Governance Ordinance. Read here to learn what New Mexicans are saying about the Council's action, some history on how the ordinance got to Las Vegas, and next steps.
The Light of New Mexico: Community bill of rights bans fracking
by Kathleen DudleyThe Light of New Mexico
April 4th, 2012
A victory for nature, human rights and democracy was celebrated in Las Vegas, New Mexico, on April 2, when the city council passed an historic law that exerts protective rights to all residents, natural communities, ecosystems and its watersheds—and bans fracking within the City of Las Vegas. The process to enact the Las Vegas Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance has proven to be a roller coaster ride from one council meeting to another, beginning in February. Opposition was voiced extensively by the Las Vegas city administration at the 11th hour, with both the mayor and city attorney claiming illegalities and predicting lawsuits, as they tried to equate balancing budgets and guarding the city from legal action with protecting life and nature.
Las Vegas Optic: Anti-fracking law adopted
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
April 3rd, 2012
Setting aside the grave concerns raised by its legal counsel and its insurer, the Las Vegas City Council voted 3-1 on Monday to approve a community bill of rights ordinance, becoming the first municipality in the state to do so....The ordinance seeks to elevate the civil rights of the community and of its natural resources while limiting the rights currently enjoyed by corporations. A standing-room-only crowd was on hand at the council chambers to witness the vote, and most of them applauded when the measure passed. “This is a historic moment for Vegas, and it may face legal challenges but that’s how you start changing federal law,” [Councilperson] Feldman said after the meeting. “I feel really passionately that our rights are being trampled at the expense of corporations for profit and that the ... citizens in this country need to start taking back their rights. This is where it starts, in a grassroots effort.”
Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter: Las Vegas, N.M., endorses community rights
by Kathleen DudleySierra Club Rio Grande Chapter
April 2nd, 2012
The first day of spring was an auspicious day for the Las Vegas City Council to make history. It was a victory for the people and for democracy....The room was packed with more than 75 people from five New Mexico counties — as far away as Bernalillo County. They came in solidarity....The Ordinance asserts a “Community Bill of Rights,” including the right of all residents, natural communities and ecosystems to water from natural sources, the right of residents to unpolluted water for use in agriculture, the rights of natural ecosystems to exist and flourish and of residents to protect their environment by enforcing these rights. Also enumerated is the right to a sustainable energy future, and the right to local self-government. It prohibits any harm to these inalienable rights through oil, gas and hydraulic fracturing.
Las Vegas Optic: Letters to the Editor
Las Vegas Optic
March 30th, 2012
On Monday, April 2nd, the Las Vegas, New Mexico City Council will place an historic vote on whether or not to pass a Community Rights Ordinance that recognizes the right of the community to protect their water, air, and the rights of nature by banning shale gas drilling and fracking and removing corporate privileges. Read here to learn what community members are saying about the the Las Vegas Community Bill of Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance.
Las Vegas Optic: Layer: Fracking law illegal; Backers say ordinance best way to keep water safe
by Martin SalazarLas Vegas Optic
March 29th, 2012
Proponents of an anti-fracking ordinance being proposed for the city of Las Vegas say it’s the best way to protect the community and keep our water from being poisoned. And while a number of municipalities around the nation, including Pittsburgh, have already adopted similar laws, no community in the state has passed such an ordinance, giving Las Vegas the opportunity to make history in New Mexico. The ordinance seeks to elevate the civil rights of the community and of its natural resources while limiting the rights currently enjoyed by corporations.