NM commission rescinds sweeping fracking ban

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The most sweeping and controversial anti-fracking ordinance in the country is off the books.

In a 3-0 vote Friday, the Mora County Commission in northern New Mexico repealed its self-described community rights ordinance, which it passed in 2013.

Commissioner Paula Garcia said repealing the ordinance was “an appropriate action,” and commissioner Alfonso Griego insisted on a roll call vote to “make it clear.”

Yet it’s still unclear whether Mora County residents will be on the hook for picking up legal fees, which came up after a federal judge threw out the ordinance, calling it overarching and unconstitutional.

“That’s still up in the air,” Mora County attorney Michael Aragon told Watchdog.org, adding that lawyers for the county are working with counsel from the Shell Western Exploration Production Inc., also known as SWEPI.

When it filed its lawsuit challenging the county’s ban, SWEPI asked for the county to pick up its legal fees, should SWEPI prevail in court.

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