Saturday, December 15, 2007

Santa Fe oil drilling clamup?

The forums for broad in-public discourse on the prospect of oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe County may have dried up, at least until the next formal hearings by the county and by the state. After four widely attended, informal public meetings (two of them conducted by Techton Energy of Houston, and two others by elected officials) the issue seems to have retreated behind closed doors.

1. One county commissioner took it upon himself to appoint an advisory group whom he invited, together with representatives of Techton Energy and a state official, to a private, closed-door meeting. The doors were closed, no minutes were taken, there was no followup report and the media was banned. One of the groups invited to the meeting is in opposition to the drilling. They have since labeled the attendees as the "Oil and Gas Advisory Committee." It has not been disclosed who else is a member of this so-called advisory committee, why they were selected and how they got the name (or was that one group simply creating a convenient label?). County Commissioner Paul Campos called that secret meeting and has not responded to repeated requests from KSFR for information about it. As a consequence, KSFR News has filed a complaint with the county about the way the issue has been handled.

2. Subsequently, Techton Energy tells the Santa Fe New Mexican that it will no longer answer questions from the media. It will communicate any developments by press release only.

Sincerely, Bill Dupuy

No comments: