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PNS Daily Newscast - July 23, 2019 


A bipartisan deal reached to avert U.S. government default. Also on our Tuesday rundown: a new report calculates the high hospital costs for employers. Plus, new legislation could help protect Florida's at-risk wildlife.

Daily Newscasts

Ranchers, Conservationists Not Feeling So “Well” Over Energy Boom

September 18, 2007

Washington, DC – An updated analysis from The Wilderness Society indicates more than 10,000 new oil and gas wells may be drilled in New Mexico over the next two decades. The news has ranchers and conservationists worried about possible damage to livestock, as well as soil and water quality. Tweeti Blancett, a former rancher in Aztec, says energy development ended her family's ranching operation, which had spanned six generations.

"We no longer ranch because oil and gas wells and contamination impacts the cattle; they die or they have miscarriages as a result of the contamination."

Nada Culver with The Wilderness Society compiled the analysis and says many drilling projects are being "fast-tracked." She hopes for provisions in the new energy bill that would slow down the process.

"We need a little more time for permitting, so there will be more consideration of how wells will impact the environment. We want to require public notice and comment before the stipulations to protect wildlife, that are now in place, are waived."

The vast majority of the proposed wells would be in Northwestern New Mexico, but plans also include Sierra and Otero counties. Blancett admits oil and gas provides important revenue for New Mexico and she isn't opposed to all drilling. However, she explains the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is not enforcing the current regulations meant to prevent environmental damage. The BLM and industry officials say those regulations are being followed.

Eric Mack/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NM