Food & Water Watch has been an active leader among groups across the New Mexico fighting fracking. We’re part of a broad coalition of groups in the western states fighting the auctions of public lands for drilling and fracking. The Obama administration has already leased 10 million acres of public lands— some for as little as $1.50 per acre—for ten-year leases to oil and gas companies. Our members have participated in protests at Bureau of Land Management auctions throughout New Mexico, which is second only to Wyoming in the number of producing mineral leases on federal lands. We need to protect federal lands for the people, not Big Oil.
Drilling dangerously near Chaco Culture National Historical Park is of utmost concern to the people of New Mexico. The park consists of a remote series of ruins that include fragile Native American archeological sacred sites. Encroachment by oil drilling would potentially pollute groundwater, compromise air quality, cause earthquakes and threaten the prized historical landmark at Chaco Canyon.
Fighting Fracking in Sandoval County
In 2016, we successfully fought a variance sought by a now-defunct oil and gas corporation from Oklahoma to drill for oil and likely frack in Sandoval county. Food & Water Watch is now spearheading attempts to enact proper ordinances to address the ever-pervasive oil and gas industry seeking to drill in the Albuquerque Basin, an aquifer that supplies more than 50% of drinking water for the surrounding communities.
Factory Dairy Farms
New Mexico is among the top U.S. producers of milk and milk products. The southern and western parts of the state host some of the largest Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFOs, commonly known as factory farms) in the country, with nearly 3,000 milk cows per facility. The waste produced by these mega-dairies pollutes the environment, and fouls local groundwater and waterways. Many people in New Mexico are barely aware of the density and appalling practices of these factory farms.
Food & Water Watch partners with a range of groups to oppose bad agribusiness legislation, to pass legislation that protects the environment, to hold dairy operators accountable to groundwater safety rules, and to educate the public on the dangers of factory farms.