Info on NM Senate Bill 459



NM Legislature Senate Bill #459

Action Network to Send a Letter to the NM legislature in Support of this Bill
Current Sponsors:Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Senator Benny Shendo, Jr. Senator William Soules, Senator Nancy Rodriguez, Representative Patricia Roybal CaballeroSenator William Soules, Senator Nancy Rodriguez, Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero 

Short Synopsis: 

SB 459 calls on the constitutional obligation of the New Mexico Legislature to control pollution and protect the air, water and other natural resources of this state. It places a four-year moratorium on newoil and gas permits wherein the Energy Minerals Natural Resources Department, Department of Agriculture, Environment Department, Department of Health, Office of the State Engineer, Indian Affairs Department, and Workers Compensation Administration are directed to report on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, as well as provide recommendations for legislation and appropriations to conduct analysis. 


In a presentation before Senate Conservation Committee during the 2019 Legislative session, New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department revealed that the State of NM has little information about the impacts of fracking and that there is nothing in the law currently that allows them to regulate multi-stage horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing differently than conventional vertical drilling.


New Mexico’s leadership is unable to make informed decisions regarding oil and gas regulation because there is a glaring lack of knowledge and reporting requirements related to industrialized fracking and its impacts on our lands, water, air, public health and safety. 


SB459 finally provides for the State of New Mexico to learn the truth about fracking. The Bill allows for reasonable restraint, asking for a pause on new fracking permits until state agencies are able to report to decision makers. 

“The protection of the state’s beautiful and healthful environment is hereby declared to be of fundamental importance to the public interest, health, safety and the general welfare. The legislature shall provide for control of pollution and control of despoilment of the air, water and other natural resources of this state, consistent with the use and development of these resources for the maximum benefit of the people.” 

-Article XX, Section 21 of the New Mexico Constitution.

SB 459 Talking Points

It’s good business to do your research.

SB459 gives legislators the time and information they need to responsibly manage industrialized fracking in our state. 

This isn’t regular oil and gas. 

Conventional drilling used vertical wells at 1,000 feet below ground where multi-stage fracking and horizontal drilling – industrialized fracking – drills 10 times that depth and horizontally up to two miles in every direction.  

This bill helps us look before we leap. 

Industrialized fracking isn’t regulated under the Clean Water Act and there are proposals in New Mexico to pump poison frackwater onto our crops and into our rivers. 

Currently our state agencies know next to nothing about how many industrial wells are operating what impacts they have on our communities, environment, and long term health. 

We don’t know enough about fracking. 

Our state is now one of the top three oil and gas producing states in the nation, but we still have the worst public education and the highest rates of child poverty in the country. If oil and gas were going to make us rich, we’d be rich by now. 

Our state coffers are full – for the moment –  but we don’t even know how many oil and gas wells are horizontally fracking under our aquifers or what the impacts are on our public health, our land, our air, or our water. 

Support transparency. 

Senate Bill 459 allows us to finally learn the truth about fracking by requiring seven state agencies to study industrialized development, providing necessary funding for reports. 

 Pause for protections. 

  • Senate Bill 459 provides a temporary 4-year moratorium on new fracking permits so that agencies have time to report and provide policy recommendations for legislators to consider. 

The ultimate goal of the bill is to learn the whole truth about fracking, providing a pause for protections so that this new onslaught of industrialized oil and gas activity does not do irreparable harm to our culture, health, water, or environment. 

Thank you for supporting Senate Bill 459!

Send a letter to the Leigslature in Support of this Bill

Contact Mark LeClaire : [email protected]