Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mora County Commissioner Meeting

As usual, I hauled my children to our monthly Mora County Commission meeting this morning, praying for good behavior. I missed a fair amount of the agenda items, but did hear someone speaking against the way public lands commissioner Pat Lions is caring for our state trust lands and another gentleman who has leased his minerals spoke in favor of oil and gas drilling and the revenues it would bring to our county. During public comment a lady announced plans to sue the commission for their refusal to sign an affidavit that had been presented at a previous commission meeting.
Listening to these speakers got me to thinking about a variety of things. The landowner who has leased his mineral rights is speaking to what he feels is best for the county and he has every right to do so. Just because I disagree with his position does not mean he has any less right to speak to the commission than I do. I think it is important to bridge the large gap that has sprung up between people who have leased and those who are opposed to oil and gas development. We are after all, one community, regardless of our differences. I do believe however, that it is important to remember that, while we all use money, and a vast majority of us are consumers of the gas industry's products, we can survive without these things. We cannot survive without water.
On the topic of suing our commission...I will only address the affidavit in question as far as saying that the presentation was ridiculous and I found the content to be even worse. I was deeply disappointed to see citizens threatening to sue our commissioners on the grounds of not signing the affidavit I mentioned. I think this is probably a very difficult time to be a commissioner in Mora County. The impending oil and gas development is new territory for our county, and this is an otherwise fairly quiet place. When leases are being signed and the largest company in the world is at the door, is not the time to divide. If citizens sue our county officials we are simply benefiting industry by drawing a line between our community and those members of it who are in a position to be able to protect us from devastation. We need our commission to work for the people they represent. Attacking them is not going to further the cause of preserving that which is truly sacred--our water, land, and quality of life. We cannot afford to define our quality of life by the amount of money we make. It must be defined by those things we already have which are truly irreplaceable.