Local oil and gas representatives and officials say a lawsuit filed against Mora County for its allegedly “unconstitutional” ban on oil and gas production is worth the fight.
“My biggest concern is the unconstitutional nature of the ordinance itself,” said Richard Gilliland, of Hunt Cimarron in Roswell and president of Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico. “Our main goal is to just enforce the constitutional principles that are being violated by this ordinance.”
IPANM filed the suit Tuesday, representing several lessees, and joined by Mary Vermillion, Jay Land Ltd., and Yates Ranch Property Ltd., represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation.
IPANM seeks to overturn the ordinance, Gilliland said.
Mora became the first county in the country to ban oil and gas development when commissioners voted 2-1 to adopt an ordinance outlawing the extraction of the natural resources in April.
A small group in the county pushed through a grassroots plan that began before 2009 to fight against oil and gas development in eastern Mora County. No active oil or gas wells existed at the time.
“These state resources in Mora County, they don’t belong to the commissioners in Mora County, they belong to the citizens of New Mexico,” Gilliland said.
The lawsuit Login to read more