Regional
9:29 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Mora County Commissioner Behind Fracking Ban Defeated

 The driving force behind an ordinance that made a northern New Mexico county the first in the country to ban fracking lost his seat in this week's primary, raising new questions about the future of the ordinance.

John Olivas, an outfitter who also serves as northern director of the conservation group New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, lost his Mora County Commission seat to George Trujillo in a three-way Democratic primary Tuesday. There is no Republican on the ballot in November.

Olivas tells the Albuquerque Journal that, like many in the county, he considered the election a referendum on the fracking ban. But Trujillo -- who won 60 percent of the vote --- says he doesn't think it played a major role.

The county's authority in imposing the ban is being challenged in two lawsuits.

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