The great Mancos boom

April 05, 2013

Voices, Envirolocal

Senator emeritus Pete Domenici and I are getting all charged up about oil giant BP and their industry buddies moving in on New Mexico to take part in the Great Mancos Shale Oil and Gas Boom. 

I don’t know about you, but personally, I can hardly wait. These oil and gas folks have their own little sense of cosmically uproarious practical humor.

Remember all the high jinks and fun BP had during Deepwater Horizon jetting millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf?  I watched on CNN and convulsed in laughter as the brown torrent vomited seemingly forever into the deep waters. I laughed ‘til tears streamed down my cheeks. Now BP & company are coming right here to New Mexico to offer us the same slapsticky oil company fun and some big checks to northwestern New Mexico landowners for rights to drill on their land.

I’m ecstatic and simply falling all over myself to welcome these oil bigweights!  Just think, we’re worth their time, and their money, and their sense of a frolicking good joke, so I say, “Y’all come on up here and pay us a friendly li’l ol’ visit, maybe stay awhile and play awhile.”
Judging from experience elsewhere throughout our great land where fracking has occurred, we have a lot to look forward to, a lot to be thankful for, and a lot to laugh about.

One of the really cool things, besides the $100,000 checks BP and other players will be cutting to landowners, is the genuine sense of surprise, the downright jollity of being able to light up your tap water with your Bic as funny smelling brown water runs out of the kitchen faucet. Why is the dog water wreathed with St. Elmo’s fire? What a spectacle when all the lights are out!

It’s because of this wonderful sense of humor, this goodtimey yuck it up, this gift of a little bit of magic in our lives, that BP and its colleague companies will offer up all that oil severance tax revenues they will chuck into state coffers.  Maybe, with all this loot, we can buy us some water during this century drought we’re suffering through.

Meanwhile, the oil companies say, with a sort of half smile, that fracking fluids are made up of good old H2O, premasticated M&Ms and Smores.  But, golly gee whiz, something from Roswell has been happening to the water in places where gas wells have developed throughout the West. But, as we all know, the oil companies have nothing to do with the miraculous flaming dogwater. Besides, who really cares if you can’t drink a glass of water. There’s always beer.  And so what if you can’t take a bath, or irrigate the sick and dying garden without being engulfed in flames?  At least you have a sense of humor. At least you get the joke.




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James Burbank

James Burbank has written and published over 200 articles for regional and national publications such as Reuters International News Service, The World & I Magazine, National Catholic Reporter, Farmer’s Almanac, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, La Opinion, New Mexico Magazine, Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque Tribune. He is author of Retirement New Mexico, the best selling book published by New Mexico Magazine Press, now in its third edition. He is also author of Vanishing Lobo: the Mexican Wolf in the Southwest, published by Johnson Books.

As a professional writing consultant, he has written and edited publications, video and radio scripts, annual reports, and investment information for a wide variety of corporate clients. A Lecturer II for the Department of English, Burbank has specialized in teaching technical writing and professional writing. His interests extend from composition and writing theory to environmental and nature writing. He has played a leadership role in developing and implementing the English Department’s teaching mentorship program.


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