Fluoride part 2

CHALLENGING THE PRO-FLUORIDATION MANTRA, part 2.
Introduction.

Promoters of fluoridation repeat ad nauseam the mantra that fluoridation is “safe”, “effective” and “cost effective.” In part 2 I discuss the 6 KEY PAPERS that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “safety.” Or to be more precise – since there is no question that fluoride is very toxic and damages health – we will demonstrate that there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all citizens drinking artificially fluoridated water (and getting fluoride from other sources) from known health effects.

STUDIES ON THE TOXICITY OF FLUORIDE AND SAFETY OF FLUORIDATION

5. National Resource Council of the National Academies. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.

A landmark report on the toxicology of fluoride is available to read and search for free online. It is one of the very few reviews of fluoride for which the panel was balanced. It contained both pro and anti-fluoridation scientists. The report concluded that the current U.S. maximum contaminant level for fluoride (4 ppm) in drinking water is an unsafe level for human health. The panel recommended that the EPA conduct a new risk assessment to establish a goal for a safe level of fluoride in drinking water (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, MCLG) and thence a new Federally enforceable standard (or MCL). After over 8 years the EPA has not completed this determination and so for 8 years the US continued to operate under unsafe standards for fluoride in water.

BONE DAMAGE. Among many health concerns the panel noted that fluoride damages the bone and accumulates there with a significantly long half-live. The first symptoms of bone damage are indistinguishable from arthritis and with further accumulation (fluoride’s half life in bone is at least 20 years) it makes the bones more brittle and prone to fracture.

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTER. The panel also concluded that fluoride is an endocrine disrupter. It lowers thyroid function and accumulates in the pineal gland (see paper 6 below).

NEUROTOXICIY.  Many animal studies indicate that fluoride can enter and damage the brain via a number of mechanisms. At thetime this review was published only 5 IQ studies were available. Since publication this total has risen dramatically. Including new studies and older Chinese studies that have been translated by FAN, there are now (as of Dec 2014) 49 studies, of which 42 show an association between exposure to fairly modest doses of fluoride and lowered IQ (see papers 7-9 below). For those who want more details of all the animal and human studies on fluoride’s toxicity see FAN’s health database

OSTEOSARCOMA.At the time of publication the NRC panel had been informedbyFAN of a doctoral thesis by Elise Bassin from Harvard, whichindicated an association between exposure to fluoridated water at a critical age range in young boys (6-8 years) and succumbing by the age of 20, to osteosarcoma, a frequently fatal bone cancer. The NRC did not take a definitive position on this study preferring to wait for the study to be published. Bassin’s publication came in May of 2006 (discussed below, see paper 10). However the same edition of the journal also contained a letter from her pro-fluoridation thesis advisor Chester Douglass claiming that his larger study would show that her thesis did not hold. However, he has never published this promised rebuttal of her thesis.

Subsets of US population exceeding EPA’s safe reference dose. While the NRC review did not study fluoridation as such (either its risk or benefits), the authors did provide an exposure analysis (see Chapter 2). The panel showed that several subsets of the population drinking fluoridated water at 1 ppm fluoride (including bottle-fed infants) are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose of 0.06 mg/kg/day (see the diagram on page 85). This finding makes nonsense of the claim by both ADA and the CDC that this very important review was not relevant to water fluoridation.

No margin of safety. Based on this review it is abundantly clear that fluoride damages health and that for several end-points (including lowered IQ), there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals in a large population drinking fluoridated water. This critical conclusion is often lost on promoters of fluoridation who confuse concentration with dose. They simplistically compare the concentration of fluoride in the water of the community examined with the concentration of fluoride in artificially fluoridated water. Such a comparison does not provide a margin of safety. For that one needs two things:

First, one has to ascertain the range of dosesin the fluoridated population. This takes into account how much water citizens drink (which can be very large because there is no control on the amount of water consumed) and how much fluoride they get from other sources.

Second, in order to determine a safe dose (sufficient to protect everyone) one also has to take into account the full range of sensitivity to a toxic substance anticipated in a large population. It is the failure to do this that has been the biggest and most reckless mistake of the fluoridation program since it began and fluoridation promoters today.

6. Luke J. 2001. Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland.Caries Research 35(2):125-128. See also Luke’s PhD thesis click here.

Luke showed that fluoride accumulates on the calcified deposits in the human pineal gland and lowers melatonin production in animals. No health agency in any fluoridating country has attempted to repeat Luke’s work despite the fact that melatonin levels have been related to many health problems. For example, Autistic children produce no melatonin.

7. Xiang Q, Liang Y, Chen L, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94, and Xiang Q, Liang Y, Zhou M, and Zang H. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study [letter]. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.

Of the 42 (out of 49) studies (as of Dec 2014) that have found a relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ, the Xiang study is one of the most important.

In the Xiang study, the authors controlled for key confounding values such as lead, and iodine (and arsenic retrospectively), parental income and educational status. In addition to comparing the mean IQ of children between the high-fluoride and low-fluoride village (a drop of 5-10 IQ points across the whole age range) they also sub-divided the children in the high-fluoride village into 5 groups with mean fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 4.3 ppm (see Table 8 in their study).

By focusing on one village they eliminated any other environmental differences between the two villages. They found that as the fluoride concentration in the five sub-groups increased two things happened: 1) the mean IQ systematically decreased and 2) the percentage of children with an IQ less than 80 (borderline mentally handicapped) dramatically increased from 0% to 37.5%.

Lowest level where IQlowered. The lowering of IQ is first observed in the sub-group at 1.53 ppm, and bearing in mind the range of fluoride concentration for that sub-group, one has to conservatively assume that some children in this study would have had their IQ lowered at the lower end of the range fluoride concentrations in this group 1.26 ppm.

Such a result leaves absolutely no margin of safety to protect all children in an artificially fluoridated community (fluoride levels between 0.7 to 1.2 ppm) from this serious outcome. Please note there is no margin of safety to protect:

A) Against the full range of exposure, especially when you consider the different amounts of water drunk by children and their exposure to other sources such as toothpaste. It should also be added that in two respects the Chinese children in the Xiang study would have had less exposure to fluoride from two key sources than American children. Children living in rural Chinese villages are less likely to be using fluoridated toothpaste and less likely to be bottle-fed (bottle-fed babies, where the formula is made up with fluoridated water, get about 200 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies).

B) Nor does it protect against the full range of sensitivity expected in a large population (as discussed in 5 above).

The last children that need a further lowering of IQ are children from low-income families, whose IQ has already been compromised by so many other factors (e.g. poorer diet, poorer educational opportunities and more exposure to pollution). Yet it is these children who are the primary target of fluoridation programs.

8. Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10):1362–1368.

This Meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies was conducted by a team from Harvard including world-famous neuroscientist Philippe Grandjean (an expert on mercury and author of the recent book, “Only One Chance”). This team acknowledged weaknesses in many of the studies but also noted the remarkable consistency of the finding that IQ was lowered in 26 out of the 27 studies reviewed. The average lowering was 7 IQ points, which is substantial, considering that at the population level even an average lowering of one IQ should be avoided.

9. Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, et al. 2015. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study.Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47:96–101.

This Pilot study in China was carried out at fluoride levels, which overlap levels used in US fluoridation programs. They didn’t measure IQ specifically in this study but reported the results of a very simple test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards. Even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed less well on this specific mental development test, than children without fluorosis. One of the experts involved in this study was Dr. David Bellenger who is world famous for his studies on lead’s neurotoxicity.

Another co-author was Dr. Philippe Grandjean and in an editorial on his website “Chemical Brain Drain”he used this study to counteract the claim from proponents that the IQ findings were not relevant to the fluoride levels used in water fluoridation. For the children in this study, Grandjean writes:

“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the US. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth…Prevention of chemical brain drain should be considered at least as important as protection against caries.” (my emphasis, PC).

10. Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control, May;17(4):421-8.

This is the only study of osteosarcoma (a frequently fatal bone cancer in children), which studied the age at which exposure to fluoride was experienced. The authors write:

We observed that for males diagnosed before the age of 20 years, fluoride level in drinking water during growth was associated with an increased risk of osteosarcoma, demonstrating a peak in the odds ratios from 6 to 8 years of age. All of our models were remarkably robust in showing this effect, which coincides with the mid-childhood growth spurt.

The finding that there may a critical window of vulnerability in young men has never been refuted – or even investigated – since Bassin’s paper was published in 2006. The shocking fact is that with this paper comes the possibility that a few young men each year may be dying from osteosarcoma because they have been exposed to fluoridated water at a critical age. Even though this has not been refuted the practice of fluoridation continues to be pushed by health authorities. Where is the precautionary principle here?

Conclusion:

Between them the TEN KEY PAPERS (listed in part 1) invalidate all three claims of the pro-fluoridation mantra.

Fluoridation is not effective.

 The largest US study (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990) and the most precise study of children’s tooth decay (Warren et al., 2010) provide little evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay. Featherstone, 2000 (and others) have provided the probable reason for these problematic results. The predominant (if any) benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic. There is no need to swallow fluoride to fight tooth decay and there is no justifiable reason to force people to drink fluoridated water against their will.

Fluoridation is not safe.

There is no disputing the fact that fluoride damages health but what about fluoridation? The landmark 500-page review by the National Research Council (NRC, 2006) showed that certain subsets of the US public are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose for fluoride, including bottle-fed infants. The NRC (2006) reviewed many health impacts for which there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals drinking fluoridated water. These include lowered thyroid function, accumulation in the pineal gland (Luke et al., 2001), bone damage, and lowered IQ (Xiang at al, 2003a,b). Xiang found that some children had their IQ lowered at fluoride levels as low as 1.26 ppm. Xiang’ study was one of 42 studies that have found this effect. A Review by a Harvard team (Choi et al, 2012) found an average lowering of 7 IQ points in 26 out of 27 studies. Choi et al, 2015 found learning disabilities in children with very mild fluorosis, which impacts many US children. Thus fluorosis at any level can no longer be considered merely a cosmetic affect. A study by Bassin et al., 2006 has disturbingly shown that some young boys may be losing their lives each year from being exposed to fluoridated water at 1 ppm in their 6th, 7th and 8th years. This study remains unrefuted.

Fluoridation is not cost-effective.

Lo and Thiessen(2014) have demolished the claim by CDC economist Susan Griffin that for every dollar spent on fluoridation $38 is saved on dental treatment. This claim by Griffin has been used Ad Nauseam by promoters of fluoridation including many state public health officials. Will they continue to do so? 

Paul Connett, PhD
Director
Fluoride Action Network
Co-Author of The Case Against Fluoride (Chelsea Green, 2010)

See Bulletin Online

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Protect the Rio Chama

I hope this finds you well, willing and able to circulate these materials in time for the BLM deadline of Friday the 15th.

If you have contacts among other organizations to whom you can pass this on, it could be very important as our outreach is woeful.

I am sending 4 documents which may or may not all be useful to you: 1) BLM specifications for an acceptable letter of protest;  2) a synopsis of the arguments against fracking in this watershed through which passes the majority of the entire water supply for the state of New Mexico; 3) Talking Points to pick and choose from when writing a letter so that each is unique and not disqualified;  4) a sample letter.

Blessings,

Mimi

The BLM Farmington Field Office is in the process of selling leases for 13 parcels of public land in the Santa Fe National Forest to oil and gas companies that may pollute our land, air and water. To allow this would endanger the Rio Chama Watershed and the Rio Grande with which it is joined.  We need to protect the New Mexico’s primary watershed and this is our chance.  The time is now! Please write your official letter of protest to stop the BLM from proceeding.

THE SPECIFICATIONS:

ALL PROTEST LETTERS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS for the October 22, 2014 Oil & Gas Lease Sale-Farmington Field Office:

By mail, by hand delivery or by fax (to 505-954-2010  Attn: Jesse Juen  BLM)  If you use mail,  please pay for certified mail and send a copy to Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens at PO Box 835  Abiquiu NM 87510      Email will not be accepted at all. Address your protest:   Attn: Jesse Juen, NM BLM State Director
                                     301 Dinosaur Trail
                                     PO Box 27115
                                     Santa Fe, NM 8750
The protest must include your name RETURN ADDRESS. BLM must reply.

You must sign your protest as an individual citizen, not as an organization, unless fully ratified.

A protest must state the INTEREST of the protesting party in matter.  E.g. I am a resident/rancher/land owner/hiker/visitor/acequiero.

Refer to the 13 parcels in the Santa Fe National Forest that should be deferred:    NM 201410-001     
NM-201410-004   through  -015
            
The protest must include REASONS to support the protest. BLM will dismiss a protest filed without a statement of reasons.  Use the talking points to help build your statement of reasons. The most important is the danger to the scant and precious supply of water in New Mexico. Procedurally, pointing out that the BLM’s has NOT fulfilled its responsibility to verify that studies conducted truly substantiate a “finding of no significant impact” (FONSI),  is the most important objection we can make. Furthermore, we believe it’s impossible because you cannot fracture shale above the aquifer without contamination.

BLM must receive a protest no later than close of business on August 15, 2014.
As they said in school, USE YOUR OWN WORDS .The BLM disallows form letters. No email will be accepted.

THE ARGUMENT:

Hydraulic fracturing, “fracking”, uses millions and millions of gallons of water for each well, every time it is fracked.  if the BLM sells leases to oil and gas companies, they will use water necessary for the life of all communities downstream. Water is far more valuable to us than oil and gas because el agua ES la vida.  New Mexico has never had water to spare, especially now that the monsoon doesn’t deliver as it used to and because we are in drought.

50 to 60% of all of New Mexico’s water passes through the eastern side of Rio Arriba as surface and ground water and all of it is at risk because of the danger of contamination. In 2009, the County Commission attempted to protect the eastern side of the Continental Divide where the headwaters of the Rio Chama form by delineating a frontier district protected from oil and gas exploitation and the ordinance should be respected. The lands proposed for lease sale by the BLM in the Santa Fe National Forest around Regina, are on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, among the tributaries of the Rio Chama. They are beautiful and precious places in themselves – the Rio Galllina, the wetland areas of Parcel 12,  archaeological sites and more.

37,000 oil and gas wells are operating in the San Juan Basin around Farmington, with many more planned – providing a lot of oil and gas and a lot of revenue for government. It makes sense to restrict oil and gas production to areas of basin west of the Continental Divide that cannot contaminate widely downstream.

The process of extraction uses hundreds of chemicals in formulas that are trade secrets. Although the oil and gas industry claims they are safe, the national House of Representatives made a study identifying 2500 chemicals used of which 650 are known to cause cancer.  

The wells proposed around Regina will be drilled in shallow shale, using a new technology of horizontal drilling which has not been adequately tested and studied. Because the shale layer sits on top of the Morrison Formation holding our aquifer which is recharged by rain and snowmelt trickling through the shale, there is no way to protect water in the aquifer from chemicals injected under pressure sufficient to break shale during this process. Wells drilled into Morrison Foundation, such as the community well in Cebolla, have been tested and proven to provide some of the best water in the state.

Fracking has been linked to earthquakes in many places that have never experienced them before. The Abiquiu Dam and other sites sit atop fault lines and are already vulnerable.

Gas is a often merely a byproduct of fracking, not worth capturing for sale, though it may measure in the hundreds of millions of gallons, as in Oklahoma. It will be released into our air, or burned off by “flaring” – like lighting a giant blowtorch – in the midst of a region where catastrophic fires have raged in recent years. Such large volumes of gas are flared off from the main shale fields that they are visible from space. This past winter a well exploded in Pennsylvania so it can happen again.

Storage tanks release volatile chemicals constantly in an invisible smoke which can be revealed by infrared film and none of it is healthy. The industry claims that you can drink fracking fluid but 17 cows in Pennsylvania died after an hour’s exposure. The closer you live to a fracking operation the greater your chances of developing chronic rashes, headaches, nosebleeds, severe asthma and other respiratory problems. (Within 5 – 12 miles is the danger zone being studied.) 300 residents of a Texas fracking town filed formal complaints recently with the state authorities.  It is too soon to trace the effect of exposure to birth defects and cancers, but newborn babies across the nation already show 200-300 chemical contaminants in the blood of their umbilical cords when tested, according to the National Academy of Pediatrics.

Every well requires 400 – 2000 trucks running 24 hours a day carrying sand, frack fluid and water in, and oil, possibly gas, and “produced”, (which means poisoned), “water” out.  24 hours a day of tremendous noise, dirt, fires and lights all night, hundreds of transient workers and big machines pounding up and down roads without ceasing during the entire life of the well.

Perhaps 30% of the water forced into the rock comes back up, but laden with chemicals in a thick soup of sand. Standard practice is to truck this elsewhere and re-inject it, which seems to be causing earthquakes. The other technique is to pump it into evaporation pits. When these pits and impoundments get breached, the contaminants have flowed directly into ponds and pastures. Half the cows grazing near one, in western Pennsylvania, gave birth to dead calves that year and the following year effects were very visible in an unusual lack of steers.

This means that something like 70% of the potentially poisonous water remains in the permeable shale rock layer, trickling slowly down. The Floresta/Forest Service takes responsibility for the surface of the land. The studies they‘ve conducted on the impact of proposed oil fracking focus on the surface of the land. But, as devastating as oil extraction is to land, the catastrophic consequences are likely to happen slowly underground.

The BLM is charged with making sure that the FS studies adequately address the movement of water underground which is based on thoroughly understanding the geology of an area. But the subject of recent FS studies has been the Spotted Owl and road erosion. This sale should not be allowed to happen because there is not any basis for a “finding of no significant impact” (FONSI), which is a precondition for the sale. THIS MAY BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE POINT OF PROTEST

Independent review is also needed and Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens is undertaking one.

TALKING POINTS:

INCOMPLETE STUDY AND DISREGARD FOR PROCEDURE – the BLM needs to update the 2003 Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Mancos Shale/Gallup formation RMPA/EIS alternatives.  These two studies do not address shallow shale hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in this geologic situation.  If the lease sale continues BLM will be in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).   

WATER – anything you’d like to say about water; quality, availability, importance of clean water, etc.  Millions of gallons of water are required for each proposed well and oil and gas companies will use our water.  Fracking risks poisoning local water and that of millions of downstream users because the geologic layer containing oil and gas east of the Continental Divide sits above the aquifer.

CHEMICALS – oil and gas companies are not legally required to disclose the chemicals they inject into the wells.  In 2011 the House of Representatives reported that of 2,500 fracking products, 650 contain known carcinogens.  Spills in New Mexico’s oil and gas fields set records in 2012, with nearly 700 self-reported accidents.  At least thirty reported spills during 2011 and 2012 impacted a waterway or a groundwater supply.  Toxic waste -water will be produced by the millions of gallons and there is no reference in the BLM Assessment to how they will dispose of it.

EARTHQUAKES – the Abiquiu Reservoir and Heron Lake are placed near several known fault lines.  Injection wells are often used to dispose of waste-water and are known to cause seismic activity.

AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE – flaring is a common practice used in fracking in which huge amounts of hydrocarbons are released directly into the atmosphere.  Flaring also poses an extreme fire danger in our Santa Fe National Forest.  A 3- 12 miles radius has been identified as dangerous to human and animal health.  Waste- water pits are another means of disposing of the toxic sludge.  These are open pits that are filled with waste-water and left to evaporate.  
 
SOIL RESOURCES – in this high desert climate the soil can be fragile.  Talk about your concerns for the soil in light of heavy traffic from big rigs used in fracking; erosion caused by roads and construction of drilling pads; toxic chemical spills and anything else you might have to say about the earth.

WILDLIFE – talk about endangerment of any particular species – disruption of migratory patterns, etc.

DARK SKY – talk about your feelings for an uninterrupted night sky view.

CULTURAL RESOURCES AND LANDSCAPES – talk about what is dear to your heart in this area – what resources and landscapes you want to remain.  A section of the Old Spanish Trail runs through these parcels.  The BLM has also identified hundreds of multi-cultural historic sites in the area of these parcels that are listed in the Environmental Assessment.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE – Quoting from the EA:
Environmental justice refers to the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, programs, and policies.  It focuses on environmental hazards and human health to avoid disproportionately high and adverse human health of environmental effects on minority and low-income populations.

Talk about your feelings in light of this statement and what you know about hydraulic fracturing as it relates to the Rio Arriba Frontier District.  

SOCIO ECONOMIC – Quoting from the EA: “An assumption is that the No Action Alternative (no lease option) would not affect current domestic production of oil and gas.”  In other words, there are not major oil and gas reserves.  They go on to say:
“If the BLM were to forego leasing and potential development of the proposed parcels, the assumption is that the public’s demand for the resource would not be expected to change.  Instead, the mineral resource foregone would be replaced in the short-and long-term by other sources that may include a combination of imports, using alternative energy sources (e.g. wind, solar), and other domestic production.  This offset in supply would result in a no net gain for oil and gas domestic production.”

Write about what you think about that.

DISRUPTS COMMUNITIES BY INCREASING NOISE POLLUTION AND TRAFFIC,  OVERSTRESSES INFRASTRUCTURE – thousands of big rig trucks running on roads 24/7; generators, bright lights, hampered emergency response times,  etc.

IN CLOSING – round out your letter with a reiteration of your demand/request to defer the remaining 13 parcels in this Lease Sale.  Use your own words.   The BLM Farmington Field Office has the authority, as the sale agent, to defer these remaining parcels.  These 13 parcels in the Santa Fe National Forest pose the same issues as their neighboring parcels that have been deferred and the same risks to the Rio Chama Watershed east of the Continental Divide.

INCLUDE THIS SENTENCE:  A finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the October 22, 2014 Oil and Gas Lease Sale is not adequately supported by the Environmental Assessment as it now stands.

SAMPLE LETTER:

Jesse Juen
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
New Mexico State Office     
PO Box 27115
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502

7/26/2014

Dear Director Juen,

My name is Felicity Garcia and I am writing to protest the proposed sales of parcels NM-201410-001, 004 thru 015 that will be offered up for lease in the BLM Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale, October 22, 2014.

Interest in Protesting
I am a lifetime resident of Gallina, and my family has farmed and raised livestock in this area for hundreds of years.  My income is based on the integrity and productivity of the land.

Reasons for Protesting
I understand the importance of clean water, and a functioning ecosystem for the health of our community.  Without clean water we cannot hope to thrive in our traditional lands.  We live with a limited amount of water in our part of the world, and I am concerned about the 2-10 million gallons of water that is used for each well in this process. I highly protest this misuse of the limited resource of water.

Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are known to cause cancer, neurological, and other health problems.  There have been many examples of spills and groundwater contamination, despite the efforts of private oil and gas companies.  The risk of polluting our precious water is too great.  If our water is affected it is the residents who will have to live with the consequences, not these companies.

The waters in Gallina and Regina flow into the Rio Chama and any pollution will also affect our neighbors down river all throughout the state.

Our forests are vulnerable to forest fires because of extreme drought, and the hydraulic fracturing process involves many fire risks.  Wells have exploded and caught fire, and the flaring of natural gas burn off can cause the dry forest to catch fire.  Our forests are a part of our livelihoods and heritage as we use them for firewood, livestock forage, and wildlife habitats as we have for hundreds of years.   After a fire burns the exposed soil can cause flooding that and also pollutes our rivers.

I again protest and ask you to defer the 13 parcels up for lease in the October 22, 2014 BLM Lease Sale.

Sincerely,

Felicity Garcia

 Felicity Garcia
Please send your mandatory response to.
P.O. Box 1116
Gallina, NM, 87017

Sierra Club Newsletter

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Editor’s note: The Insider team has decided to send out the newsletter on schedule today, but we cannot do so without first acknowledging the tragedy in Boston, which is paramount in our hearts and minds today. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the great, proud city of Boston.


Video: Another Tar Sands Disaster Video: Another Tar Sands DisasterExxonMobil is doing everything it can to deflect attention from Mayflower, Arkansas, ever since the company’s pipeline spill on March 29 spewed 85,000 gallons of tar sands crude into the community. The company even managed to get a no-fly zone established over the town. But it’s not managing to hide the truth: tar sand pipelines are disasters waiting to happen. Watch this video of tar sands crude flowing through the streets of Mayflower. The public comment period on the far more massive Keystone XL tar sands pipeline ends April 22.

Tell President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry to reject Keystone XL!



GET OUT! Explore
GET OUT!The Sierra Club is hosting hundreds of events around the country to explore, enjoy, and protect the planet this Earth Month, from service trips to art walks to tree-plantings to tours of nature preserves to fishing, backpacking, and biking trips. You can also attend conferences, seminars, potlucks, coffeehouse get-togethers, film screenings, and more.

Join a GET OUT event near you or start your own.


Don't Frack with California<br />
Don’t Frack with CaliforniaThe Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity won a landmark victory on April 8 when a federal judge ruled that federal authorities broke the law when they failed to consider the environmental impacts of fracking before they leased 2,700 acres of public land in Monterey and Fresno counties to oil and gas drillers. “The court recognized that fracking is different from the oil and gas development that California has known thus far,” said Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews. “Fracking and modern unconventional production have changed the game.”

Ask President Obama to protect our public lands and communities from fracking.

Photo by EcoFlight


No More Deepwater Horizons No More Deepwater HorizonsThree years ago this week, one of the worst environmental disasters in our nation’s history occurred when an explosion on BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 people and gushed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. But despite numerous recent disasters — from Shell’s rig running ashore in Alaska to ExxonMobil’s pipeline spill in Arkansas last month — Big Oil wants to double down on more dangerous drilling in the Arctic and off our coasts, as well as build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Tell President Obama we need to protect our communities, coasts, and public lands from dangerous oil and gas drilling and spills.

Photo by Julie Dermansky

Fracking and NY

Earthjustice - Take Action Today
TAKE ACTION! The Town That Fought Fracking (And Is Winning…) Take action today!
Scenes from the Town of Dryden (Mary Ann Sumner)

Dear Raphael,

Mary Ann Sumner is Town Supervisor for the Town of Dryden (population 14,500) in upstate New York. She loves Dryden, and she takes her job very seriously.

That’s why she is in New York State Supreme Court today, fighting a lawsuit brought against her and Dryden by an oil and gas company trying to force citizens to accept fracking inside the town’s borders.

Will you stand in solidarity with the people of Dryden on this historic day?

In 2011, Supervisor Sumner and her colleagues on the Dryden Town Board voted to prohibit the use of land within the town for oil and gas development activities, including fracking. Six weeks later they were sued by an oil and gas company owned by a Forbes-ranked billionaire.

When Dryden defeated the billionaire’s company in court, it made history, inspiring other towns across America to enact similar bans. But Dryden’s fight is not over—the US subsidiary of a foreign-owned oil company has now stepped in to challenge the town.

Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg is representing Dryden in this precedent-setting case. As this message is being sent, she is facing off against oil and gas industry lawyers in Albany, NY.

The coming weeks will be tense ones in Dryden as the townspeople and their local elected officials await the court’s ruling. Will you sign on to this petition and send them a message of support?

These messages will be read aloud at upcoming Town Board meetings, letting the leaders of Dryden know that thousands of people have their back in this fight.

With great appreciation,

Kathleen Sutcliffe

Kathleen Sutcliffe
Campaign Manager

Take action today!

P.S. Your support sends an important signal to Town Board members that they’re doing the right thing by standing up to the oil and gas industry. Sign our solidarity petition today!

Fracking in san Miguel and Mora Counties

Update on Fracking in San Miguel County:

The San Miguel County Commissioners postponed the vote on a moratorium extension until March 12, 2013. Let’s keep up the pressure and hopefully many of us will be able to attend the meeting that day: 3/12/13, 1:30 pm at the courthouse, 500 W. National Ave., Las Vegas.

Also, very important:

SB 547 Ban Fracking in State of NM will be heard Thursday Feb. 28 Conservation Committee Rm 311 at 2:00 pm. Please call & email members of Conservation Committee and tell them to support this bill. Come to the hearing and show your support.

Conservation Committee
Peter Wirth, Chair – 505 986 4861 – peter.wirth@nmlegis.gov
Benny Shendo V. Chair – 505 986 4310 – benny.shendo@nmlegis.gov
Joseph Cervantes – 505 986 4385 – Joseph@cervanteslawnm.com
Phil Griego – 505 986 4513 – senatorgriego@yahoo.com
Richard Martinez – 505 986 4487 – richard.martinez@nmlegis.gov
William Payne – 505 986 4703 – william.payne@nmlegis.gov
William Sharer – 505 986 4381 – bill@williamsharer.com
William Soules (sponsor of SB 547) – 505 986 4856 – bill.soules@nmlegis.gov
Pat Woods – 505 986 4393 – pat.woods@nmlegis.gov
John Ryan – 505 238 3733 – john.ryan@nmlegis.gov

And one more thing:  If you haven’t signed this petition, please do: www.signon.org/sign/end-fracking-in-new-mexico/?mailing_id=9573&source=s.em.cr&r_by=2572822

–Bernard

P.S. If you want to help in any way, please contact me at ban.fracking.smc@gmail.com. Thanks!

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The movie “Rooted Lands” about Fracking in Mora and San Miguel Counties will be the featured film at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market Institute Wednesday Night movie series

7 PM at the Farmer’s Market pavilion $12 gen. admission, $10 for members, students under 18 and Seniors. Vendors free. More info at www.farmersmarketinstitute.org or (505) 983 7726

 

SB440

http://www.occupynewmexico.org/grand-water-theft-sb-440/

see also post on this site:

https://waterawarenessgroup.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/grand-water-theft/

water-crisis-looming

2/21 Update: In a stunning turn of events, SB 440 (“Lower Rio Grande Water Rights”) passed the Senate Conservation Committee (SCONC) on a 5-3 vote with no recommendation, with all explanatory and clarifying language stripped from the bill, and after a 4-4 tie on the bill’s first vote call. Two swing Democrats, Senators Richard Martinez and Phil Griego, both from Northern New Mexico, were absent from the vote.

The committee substitute bill that passed is a $120 million appropriation to the Interstate Stream Commission “for expenditure in fiscal year 2014 and subsequent fiscal years to acquire, retire, protect and conserve water rights and conserve water in the lower Rio Grande basin.” There are no specific guidelines provided for how the $120 million shall be used, but it can be reasonably concluded that there remains great risk that it could be used to the detriment of water rights and water supply of upstream communities in the Northern and Middle Rio Grande basins. The good news is that as the bill moves forward to Senate Finance Committee, it should be very hard for Senators to justify breaking New Mexico’s bank on a $120 million “blank check” that (barely) passed Conservation, unsupported by the Attorney General and State Water Engineer, and without recommendation. In terms of public opposition, activists from the New Mexico Acequia Association, League of Conservation Voters, and Food and Water Watch New Mexico spoke out against the bill.

SB440-Senate-Conservation-Substitute-Passed-2-20-2013-Without-Recommendation

Full text of stripped-down SB 440 that passed SCONC without recommendation

http://www.occupynewmexico.org

As originally written, Senate Bill 440, sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes from Las Cruces, would provide $120 million in public funds to the Interstate Stream Commission (ISC) for the purposes of correcting a “severe imbalance” in New Mexico water supply. In essence, it would direct ISC to purchase water rights from private entities in Northern New Mexico and convey that water through Elephant Butte Irrigation District to water users in Southern New Mexico. While the bill also purports to address other aspects of water consumption and use, overall it “provides mechanisms for the ISC to protect water rights, retire water rights, and conserve water to restore a balance among water users in New Mexico” to the detriment of water rights beneficiaries and users in Northern New Mexico.

By providing a massive and irresistible pool of money for water rights to be transferred from North to South, SB 440 is more or less “grand water theft” on a statewide scale, legitimized by greed. See more critical analysis below the 2/19 update and video, with details on the objections raised by the NM Attorney General and Water Engineer.

 
Post navigation← Previous“Grand Water Theft” SB 440 Still Alive – Feb. 21 Hearing after Opposition Raised by NM Attorney General & State Water EngineerPosted on February 19, 2013 by

Fracking

If you have an interest in fracking, check this link:

http://shalebubble.org/the-map/

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Ban Fracking Campaign, from Ireland to New Mexico
http://cts.vresp.com/c/?EcoWatch/fac0ca7938/48a6dd24da/a4a8074839

Ban Fracking Campaign, from Ireland to New Mexico
02-19-2013
By Kathleen Dudley
Drilling Mora County

A number of  local grassroots groups fighting fracking in New
Mexico are launching a billboard and yard sign campaign.
Citizens from the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights,
Drilling Mora County, and Committee for Clean Water, Air and
Earth completed the Water, Not Fracking, Community Rights for
Mora and San Miguel Counties yard sign and billboard campaign
this month. Today citizens are installing graphic Coca Cola red
and white cows with strong pronouncements that industry is not
welcome to frack their counties.

Joining in solidarity with the work of citizens in Ireland,
people in New Mexico are getting the message out that they do
indeed have the rights to protect their communities from
industry’s assaults against their pristine rural agricultural
towns. While the majority of citizens in both counties support
“no drilling or fracking,” the billboards and yard signs
create a powerful visual representation of the citizens’
voices. They pound the message out more loudly to  the State of
New Mexico legislators, government agencies, and Royal Dutch
Shell and their subsidiaries who, through Dillon’s Rule and
pre-emption, can decided what is good for Mora and San Miguel
County over the decision of the majority of citizens.

This campaign is an assertion of democratic voice and of the
citizens’ rights to a renewable, sustainable future. Currently
state law makes such pronouncements and actions on the local
level, illegal. Local Community Rights Ordinances with a Bill of
Rights protecting citizens and nature’s rights is an “out of
the box” approach which is gaining momentum across the U.S.
and specifically in Northeastern New Mexico where citizens are
standing up to the powers of the status quo and their bullying
efforts. More than 50 communities across the U.S. have passed
such Community Rights Ordinances thanks to the help of the
Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

The City of Las Vegas, New Mexico in San Miguel County, passed
the first Community Rights Ordinance banning fracking last
April. This city law has a Bill of Rights protecting the
citizens rights to clean and ample water, air and land while
writing out corporate personhood. The City of Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania passed a similar Community Rights Ordinance banning
fracking in December 2011, and is the largest city in the U. S.
to take such protective actions.

Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.

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Drilling Mora County

drillingmoracounty@gmail.com
www.drillingmoracounty.blogspot.com
http:drillingmoracounty.org

Mission Statement:
To protect and preserve the water,land, air, health, and culture
of Northern New Mexico
by educating people about the adverse impacts of oil and gas exploration
and production within our Region.

mas vale prevenir que curar