Legislative Update

Since the Legislation is not in session, we found something else to be a part of. At our last meeting, Cherith put out a calendar of city and county meetings as well as sign-up sheets for our members that would attend and bring back information to share.

With 24 meetings on the calendar for July, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone.

This information is important to the community and allows us to help our elected officials do what is best for Valencia County. This will enable us to keep up with current issues and give us the opportunity to be a part of the process.

We were able to be a part of this at the Special Public Hearing held at the Los Lunas Transportation Center for the Valencia County Board of County Commissioners. The County Commissioners were looking to amend the Zoning Code to allow for a Natural Resource Overlay Zone. When we arrived a couple of things were very apparent. Very few people were from Valencia County!

During the entire meeting (all 6 ½ hours’ worth), people spoke out for and against Oil and Gas exploration, referencing the overlay but not about the overlay in its entirety.

Overall, we heard about Oil and Gas exploration good and bad, old and new processes, as well as protective regulations. EMNRD Director, Adrienne Sandoval gave a presentation on EMNRD Regulation of Oil and Gas in New Mexico. We heard from experts, activists, and people passionate for and against a local company that had requested the change to the Zoning Code to allow for the exploration of Oil and Gas.

Conclusion

In the end, the County Commissioners approved amending the Zoning Code to allow for the Natural Resource Overlay Zone. The County Commissioners were attentive and professional through it all, we saw the process work and gained a new respect for the officials we elected to the board.