Mora County Commissioner John Olivas coming to the Driftless!
Come hear John Olivas of New Mexico talk about how his county banned fracking, and what came next.
Could we BAN frac sand mining in the Midwest?
John Olívas, elected in 2010 to the Mora County, New Mexico Commissioner, helped his county to ban tracking. Come hear him speak on one of the days when he is visiting in SE MN, NE IA, and SW WI, Sept. 27-30. Olivas is an articulate and passionate proponent of rights-based local bans.
Winneshiek county, IA: Sunday, Sept. 28at 7:00 at the Cellar, located at the old Armory at 421 W. Water St. in Decorah. The event is free and open to the public.
Vernon County, WI: Monday, Sept. 29 at 7:00 at the main lobby of the Viroqua High School, 7-8:30 presentation followed by Q and A. Free and open to the public.
Trempealeau County, Town of Whitehall, Tues. Sept. 30, 6:00. Location to be announced.
Still available, if you'd like to bring John Olivas to your area somewhere in the tri-state area: Saturday, Sept. 27. (contact Liz Rog, 563-382-8013)
More on John Olivas: In April 2013, Olívas led the charge to make his county the first in the U.S. to permanently ban corporations from fracking or otherwise developing oil and gas within its borders. Olívas states, "A lot of people ask, ‘Who is this small community up in northern New Mexico that's picking a fight with oil and gas?' But as a matter of survival, local people have always prioritized conservation, and they resent outside corporations making money at their expense.” During six months of meetings, residents made clear that they want to protect their land-based heritage. "If you allow industry to come into your community, it changes the dynamics of the culture. I don't think we're ready for that."
Where Mora's fracking ban is concerned, the work is just beginning: Four private landowners backed by oil and gas interests sued last November, followed by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell in January, alleging violation of their constitutional rights. "We knew we were going to get sued," Olívas says. Mora County plans to fight, with help from the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center. Given opponents' deeper pockets, that could mean five to seven years of wrangling, and the creation of some legal precedents. Other communities that have adopted similar measures, banning specific corporate activities that harm the resources of local citizens – Las Vegas, New Mexico, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and more – are watching.
Many counties in the Driftless are home to mines serving local needs such as road gravel and dairy farming. Frac sand mining is currently taking place in over 120 places of SW WI, with many more mines operating or pending in other parts of the region. Communities are deeply concerned about this new industry because of water pollution from surficants, air pollution from silica dust, and road damage from truck traffic.
The event is sponsored by the Community Rights Alliance of Winneshiek County (CRA). CRA was formed in May 2013 to peacefully assert our Constitutional right to local, democratic self-governance, for the purpose of protecting the health and integrity of our communities, our commonly shared natural resources, and our future.
Would You Like to Learn More?
From right where you sit you can watch this 19 minute slide show and understand what the Community Rights Movement is all about: