The Two Way Street

http://eepurl.com/9Xbav

At the Women’s Congress for Future Generations, legendary scholar, author and activist Riane Eisler called for a global shift to economic practices and policies that value caring for other beings and for the earth.

Her idea – that the real “wealth of nations” is not simply financial, but consists of the contributions of people to each other and to nature – illuminates SEHN’s goal in convening the Women’s Congress.

We invite you to make your contribution to the work of cultivating and protecting our real, collective wealth – in service of future generations.

Nearly 500 Congress participants gathered in Minnesota this November to delve into the question: how do we shift from a culture based on dominance and exploitation of resources, to one focused on long-term collective well-being, partnership, and a relational approach to the community of life?

We explored the tenets of the Owl Economy, a wisdom-based approach to economics calling for a recognition that the Earth is the source of our life and our economic activity.

We offered participants a template for action, Heartland & Headwaters, to support the emerging grassroots movement of women organizing and innovating for future generations as a result of the Congress.


And out of our Caucus of All Waters, we developed the Declaration of Rights of All Waters, articulating the innately-held rights of the oceans, lakes, rivers, aquifers, and clouds, as well as the related responsibilities of humans to protect these waters.

Throughout the Congress, we wove music and the arts into the proceedings. With song, we invoked the living rights of all nature. With music, we grieved the earth’s losses and celebrated our power to make change. We danced and sang the new forms of law and policy into being.

We at SEHN are honored and inspired to steward this critical work of uniting women to demand systems-level change. We invite you to stand with us and offer your support for this critical, narrative-shifting work of our time.

We are steadfastly committed to calling forth a legal system grounded in guardianship and care for future generations. At the cusp of 2015, we are exploring innovative partnerships and possibilities for a next women’s gathering – which we’ll share with you in the coming weeks and months.

As we do this courageous work together, Joanna Macy again reminds us that we are not alone, and our efforts matter:

“Future generations are a two-way street. I work for them, and they hold me in an embrace of deep time. They help me see my life is one short little span in a great span of time, and I mustn’t fall prey to measuring my success by what I can see happening in my lifetime.”

San Miguel County Passes Tough Oil and Gas Regulations

From La Jicarita

San Miguel County Passes Tough Oil and Gas Regulations.

By KAY MATTHEWS

Today the San Miguel County Commission unanimously voted to adopt the San Miguel County Oil and Gas Regulations ordinance, which uses zoning and stringent requirements to regulate how and where the oil and gas industry can explore, drill, and hydraulically “frack” within the county. At the last public hearing before the adoption of the ordinance, Robert Freilich, the land use law attorney who helped the county draft the ordinance, stated, “This ordinance is a lot better than Santa Fe’s ordinance.” He also acknowledged the hard work of the members of PROTECT San Miguel County, whose diligence in reviewing the ordinance and helping in its revision makes it one of the toughest in the country. After the commissioners passed the ordinance, they also thanked all of those who had worked so hard to make this a reality.

La Jicarita spoke with PROTECT San Miguel County member Bob Wessely about what makes the San Miguel County ordinance so strong. He described it as basically a “large collection” of details that have gone through four or five incremental drafts to address problems raised by his organization and by the public at the 15 or so hearings held over the last several years. He cited four areas in which the final draft is particularly rigorous:

  • Permit application processes and studies are extensive, including detailed environmental impacts, water availability, traffic, infrastructure, geohydrology, fiscal impacts and emergency response plans.
  • Regulations for enforcement now include the hiring of a well-qualified county inspector, paid for by the industry, who will be responsible for overall application review as well as frequent monitoring and inspections stipulated in the ordinance. The strong post-permit monitoring now includes a 10-year annual inspection of abandoned wells for possible leakage.
  • The industry is held responsible for all County costs, including application technical review, ongoing inspection and monitoring, and additional off-site infrastructure (roads, judicial system, etc.).
  • Protection and mitigation requirements have been expanded to cover all areas of potential impacts by the drilling process (surface water, groundwater, air, noise, lighting, traffic, viewshed, etc.).

These regulatory requirements will apply to the eastern portion of the county—the boundary line is about 30 miles east of I-25 and runs from north to south— where exploration and drilling will be allowed. The western portion of the county is off limits.

sanmiguel_map

Other regulations that PROTECT requested or worked on with the county have also been included in the ordinance:

  • Pre-operation baseline testing requirements for air quality and water quality are extensive.
  • Air quality monitoring has been strengthened to protect county citizens from potential leaks of gasses during operations (drilling, fracking, and extraction). Closed loop systems are required. Open pit storage of fluids is prohibited.
  • Disposal of all wastes must be at state approved waste facilities, of which there are none within the county.
  • Water quality requirements were strengthened by designating which substances the industry has to test for.
  • Set back limits from drilling operations were established for a wide arrange of categories. Residential and school set backs are 4,000 feet, approximately a kilometer; non-residential structures are 1,000 feet; and groundwater recharge areas such as wetlands, acequias, and rivers are 1.5 miles. Conchas Lake, a popular recreation area, has a 2-mile set back.

I asked Wessely if he felt this ordinance would act to discourage oil and gas development because of its onerous requirements. He answered that it would certainly discourage a “fly by night” operator and would make large companies like Shell carefully consider whether it’s worthwhile, before engaging in the process. While there is currently no drilling taking place in the county, there are leases in the Watrous area (west of the dividing line) and some ranchers in the eastern area are desirous of having drilling on their ranches.

San Miguel County Board of Commissioners (L to R: Commissioner Marcellino Ortiz, Nicolas Leger, Consultant Steve Burstein, Dr. Bob Freilich, Commissioner Art Padilla, Commissioner Gilbert Sena, County Manager Les Montoya) final Oil and Gas Ordinance Public Hearing, 3 November 2014.

The San Miguel Oil and Gas Regulations were long in the making. La Jicarita asked Pat Leahan, with the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center and PROTECT San Miguel County, to provide a timeline of how the public and county worked together to promulgate this ordinance.

  • In 2008 the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center was asked by some folks in Mora County to look into leases that were being requested in Mora County, which prompted the Center to see if there were any leases also being pursued in San Miguel County.
  • In October of 2009 the Center went before the San Miguel County Commission to present the information that there had been drilling activity in 2006. The county was unaware of that fact and when it looked into county regulations involving extraction found that the regulations dealt primarily with gravel and other types of mining, not oil and gas.
  • San Miguel County Attorney Jesus Lopez directed the commission to look into drafting a moratorium on oil and gas drilling to give the county time to look into the issue.
  • At the November 10, 2009 county commission meeting the Peace and Justice Center presented documentation on the well that was drilled in 2006—location map, permit application, capping, etc.—and the Las Vegas Basin White Paper, a report that was commissioned by the group Drilling Santa Fe to analyze the impacts of potential drilling and fracturing in the Basin. The Center also presented this information to the mayor of Las Vegas who imposed a moratorium within the city limits.
  • On December 8, 2009, the County Commission adopted Resolution 12- 08-09-NATURAL RESOURCES, proposing the adoption of a one-year moratorium on conditional use permits for oil, gas or geothermal exploration, extraction, or drilling. A moratorium was passed on January 10, 2010.
  • In early 2010, after a screening of the film “Split Estate” a small group of people (Bob Wessely, Leslie Hammel-Turk, Brad Turk, Barbara Ehrlich, Kim Kirkpatrick, Carole Silon, Pat Leahan, Kate Daniel, Don Shaw, and Arielle Hawney) organized PROTECT San Miguel County to educate themselves and strategize on the issue of oil and gas development.
  • The Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center retained the New Mexico Environmental Law Center as a consultant to help draft an oil and gas ordinance. After consulting with Drilling Santa Fe it learned of Robert Freilich, the land use attorney who helped draft the Santa Fe County Ordinance. Freilich was subsequently hired by the county to help draft the San Miguel ordinance.
  • PROTECT San Miguel County sponsored and participated in many community forums and talks on Community Peace Radio to educate the public. A San Miguel County Oil and Gas Ordinance Task Force had been established and members of PROTECT joined the task force. The task force proved largely ineffective because of obstructionist tactics by the New Mexico Independent Petroleum Association representative.
  • The moratorium on oil and gas development was renewed several times for a total of four years.

While folks in San Miguel County are celebrating the passage of these regulations, neighboring Mora County is navigating tough legal terrain. In 2013 Mora County passed an outright ban on oil and gas development and is now embroiled in two industry lawsuits. Last week, U.S. District Judge Browning heard arguments on a motion for summary judgment in the SWEPI LP (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell) vs. Mora County lawsuit. Based on his statements in the courtroom—“Some of these provisions are pretty wild; they’re pretty inconsistent with centuries of federal law” —it seems likely that at a subsequent hearing he will rule that either some of the language in the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance is unconstitutional or that the entire ordinance should be thrown out. Another lawsuit filed against Mora County by private landholders and the Independent Petroleum Association remains extant but settlement negotiations are ongoing.

Whale hunt banned

Whale hunt banned

HUGE NEWS, Raphael!

Usually if the words “Japan” and “whale” are used in the same sentence, it means bad news for animals. Well not today. Allow me to explain:

The cruel Japanese whale hunt has been banned!!

So today at Unleashed, we’re all like:

Because I know you’ve spoken up for marine animals, I couldn’t wait to share this good news with you! Kudos to our mates at Sea Shepherd, and all the other groups and individuals who made this happen. It just goes to show that when we work together, and never ever give up, we can achieve amazing things for animals!

Want to achieve even more amazing things? Keep scrolling to see how you can make a difference for other marine animals today.

Til next time…
Amy Kidd
Youth Campaigner
Animals Australia Unleashed

5 things you probably never knew about ocean animals (and 5 ways to save them!)

Fins belong on sharks — NOT IN SOUPS!

100,000 people have spoken out against the Faroe Island whale slaughter. Have you?

Don’t let them turn our reef turn into a dump!

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FRACKING BAN

From Santa Fe New Mexican

FRACKING BAN A New Mexico county’s fracking ban is all about the water

A New Mexico county’s fracking ban is all about the water  Roger Alcon tends cattle on his family’s ranch in Mora County on May 16. Alcon’s family has run cattle in the area for five generations, and he supports the county’s ban on drilling for natural gas by using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, even though it would mean money for allowing drilling on his land. Julie Cart/Los Angeles Times

Posted: Sunday, June 2, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 11:24 pm, Sun Jun 2, 2013.

By Julie Cart
Los Angeles Times | 5 comments

OCATE — Sitting in the tidy living room of the home they built themselves, Sandra and Roger Alcon inventory what they see as the bounty of their lives: freedom, family, community, land, animals … and water.

“We’ve lived off the land for five generations,” said Roger Alcon, 63, looking out on a Northern New Mexico landscape of high mesas, ponderosa pines and black Angus cattle. “We have what we need. We’ve been very happy, living in peace.”

Wells are the Alcons’ only source of water. The same is true for everyone else in Mora County, which is why last month this poor, conservative ranching region of energy-rich New Mexico became the first county in the nation to pass an ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as “fracking” that has compromised water quantity and quality in communities around the country.

“I don’t want to destroy our water,” Alcon said. “You can’t drink oil.”

In embracing the ban, landowners turned their back on potentially lucrative royalty payments from drilling on their property and joined in a groundswell of civic opposition to fracking that is rolling west from Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania in the gas-rich Marcellus shale formation.

Pittsburgh became the first U.S. city to outlaw fracking in November 2010 after it came to light that an energy company held a lease to drill under a beloved city cemetery.

Since then, more than a dozen cities in the East have passed similar ordinances.

The movement leapfrogged west last summer when the town of Las Vegas, N.M., took up the cause, calling for a halt to fracking until adequate regulations protecting public health are adopted.

It has now reached California, where communities are considering similar bans.

Culver City — home to the nation’s largest urban oil field — is drafting oil and gas regulations that call for a moratorium on fracking. Citizen groups in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara are preparing their own community rights ballot measures aimed at outlawing the procedure.

Hydraulic fracturing involves injecting a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals deep underground to fracture rock formations, releasing oil and gas that is hard to reach with conventional drilling methods. A blizzard of applications to sink wells using fracking is spurring a nationwide energy rush sometimes called the “shale gale.”

Among the leading concerns of opponents is the absence of any federal law requiring companies to fully identify the chemicals in their fracking fluids. Such formulas are considered by the industry to be a trade secret. Community-based anti-fracking campaigns — citing public health issues — call for complete disclosure of injection fluids.

Many New Mexico counties welcome oil and gas production, an industry that adds to the tax base and employment rolls. But in sparsely populated Mora County, where 67 percent of the 5,000 residents are Spanish-speaking, people cherish their culture and way of life.

Sandra Alcon said her neighbors don’t care about mineral rights or oil money. They are angry about the way energy companies’ “land men” treated them. Residents here are seen as easy marks for hustlers offering little compensation for oil and water rights, she said.

“They know we have a lot of elderly and rural people; some don’t speak English,” she said. “They don’t know that some of us went to college and some of us have the Internet.

“I may look stupid, but I’m not. I know what they are doing.”

Mora County, using its authority to regulate commercial activity, specifically barred corporations from fracking. The ordinance also established that citizens have a right to a safe and clean environment.

County Commission Chairman John Olivas said the ordinance is not a referendum on oil and gas. Rather, he said, it “is all about water,” estimating that 95 percent of the county’s residents support the ban, although some argue that the jobs and income that accompany drilling would help the depressed area.

Olivas, a hunting and fishing guide, said he grew up watching his parents work in the uranium mines of Eastern New Mexico. When the mines played out, towns shriveled up.

Chasing that boom-and-bust economy is not worth despoiling an environment that remains remarkably untouched and provides a sustainable living for most people here, he said.

“We are one of the poorest counties in the nation, yes, but we are money-poor, we are not asset-poor,” Olivas said. “We’ve got land, we’ve got agriculture, we’ve got our heritage and we’ve got our culture.”

The California community closest to adopting an anti-fracking ordinance is Culver City, which includes a portion of the 1,000-acre Inglewood Oil Field. More than 1 million people live within five miles of the field, where some 1,600 wells have been drilled since 1925.

The City Council is considering a fracking moratorium, even though only 10 percent of the field is within the city limits. The bulk of the wells are in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

City officials and residents say they are concerned about air and water quality, as well as about earthquakes being triggered by drilling at 8,000 to 10,000 feet — the depths where the untapped oil is found.

Low-magnitude earthquakes have been associated with fracking, but Ed Memi, a spokesman for PXP, which operates in the Inglewood Field, called suggestions that high-pressure drilling causes earthquakes “hysterical accusations.”

“There is no evidence that hydraulic fracturing has caused felt seismic activity anywhere in California,” Memi said. “The practice of hydraulic fracturing has been subjected to dozens of studies in recent years, and the fundamental safety of the technology is well understood by scientists, engineers, regulators and other technical experts.”

But Meghan Sahli-Wells, Culver City’s vice mayor, said the city needs to see more study of fracking’s impact before it could be allowed.

“I grew up in L.A. All my life I’ve heard about air-quality problems, earthquakes and water issues,” Sahli-Wells said. “It just so happens that fracking really hits on the three major challenges of this area. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for people to wake up and say, ‘We are fracking on a fault line? Is this really in our interests?’ “

If Culver City moves forward with a moratorium, it could take months to complete, she said.

Fracking is unregulated in California, and no accurate figures exist detailing how many of the state’s wells are completed using the technique.

A number of anti-fracking bills are pending before the state Assembly, and statewide regulations are being finalized by the state Department of Conservation.

Sahli-Wells endorses legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Culver City, that calls for a moratorium on fracking in California until a comprehensive six-year study can be undertaken.

“Look before you leap” legislation is pending in other states.

On a recent day back in Mora County, Roger Alcon drove his ranch with his herding dog, Pepper, at his side. He said the region’s aquifer has been depleted by oil and gas operations in the region. He sees no reason to hasten the water decline.

Alcon pointed out the truck window toward the snowcapped Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

“We have what we need,” he said. “To me, the fresh air and the land, and water. It’s better than money.”

Steve Harris at Collected Works Sunday April 28th at 11 AM

April 28, Sunday, 11 am
Books/Talks/Lectures (at Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse)
journeysantafe presents:
Can Our Society Act To Protect Rivers From Continued De-Watering?
The Rio Chama Flow Project with Steve Harris, Executive Director of Rio Grande Restoration Project

Harris writes: “The over-exploitation of water from New Mexico’s Rivers has led to a noticeable loss of bio diversity and other natural and social values  they once provided. Beginning with the passage of Strategic Water  Reserve legislation, an “environmental flow movement” has begun to  take hold in the Roundhouse and State Engineer’s Office.  Can our  society act to protect rivers from continued de-watering…. without   “goring the ox” of traditional uses such as irrigation agriculture?   The Rio Chama Flow Project, organized by Rio Grande Restoration, is  attempting to demonstrate the idea that sound science, coupled with  cooperative governance, can protect our rivers, even in the face of  climate change and development pressure.  Come hear how it proposes to  ‘rewater’ the rivers.”

Harris is the Executive Director of the Rio Grande Restoration project and president of a Taos-based river outfitting business, Far-Flung Adventures, and

executive director of the basin-wide streamflow advocacy group, Rio Grande Restoration’ Past board officer of the Tamarisk Coalition, Consultant on the TCEQ/USACE Forgotten River project.

Steve participates actively in regional and state water planning forums and has served on a number of public water resource programs, including the Taos Regional Water Plan, Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin Coalition and the Middle Rio Grande ESA Collaborative Presently, he directs the Rio Chama Flow Optimization Project in collaboration with agency stakeholders and local communities.


Photograph of Rio Grande River by Steve Stockdale

Sierra Club Newsletter

Insider: The Sierra Club's Official 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

Thomas Linzey on The Journey Home

Tune in and listen to Diego Mulligan interviewing Thomas Linzey,
the senior legal counsel for the Environmental Legal Defense
Fund, CELDF, during his radio show.

DATE:  Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
TIME:  5:00-6:00 pm Mountain time
WHAT:  “The Journey Home” radio show, hosted by Diego Mulligan
RADIO:   KSFR 101.1 FM – Santa Fe Public Radio
Tune in live/streaming

http://www.ksfr.org/

Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil, CELDF, will be presenting a
Democracy School in Santa Fe the week of April 19th-20th.