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Another “High Energy” Meeting Expected Over Drilling Tonight

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December 6, 2007

Santa Fe, NM – New Mexicans will have another chance to voice their concerns about oil and gas drilling plans near the nation's oldest capital city, as well as a new Santa Fe County draft ordinance on drilling. So many people are expected to show up, that tonight's meeting site has been moved to a bigger venue.

It's the latest in a series of public meetings on the plans to drill near Santa Fe, also known as the 'City Different.' People were turned away from earlier meetings filled to capacity. Those opposed to plans by a Texas oil and gas company to drill in Santa Fe County say drilling would make their city "just another energy sacrifice zone."

Johnny Micou with the concerned citizens' group Drilling Santa Fe says people worry about what drilling close to home could do to their quality of life.

"People feel that they've paid for their property and chosen their lifestyles, and now an industry comes along that threatens the way of living they came to Santa Fe to enjoy in the first place."

Tecton Energy of Texas has bought drilling rights to more than 60,000 acres near Santa Fe. The land is believed to overlie up to 100 million barrels of high-quality crude oil. Micou says the meeting tonight is not about drilling or not drilling, but about protecting existing resources.

"Aquifers, groundwater, archaeological sites, cultural resources, adverse economic impacts – those things need to be studied."

Tonight's meeting, at the Santa Fe High School gym, will include state legislators as well as city, county and state government officials.

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NM