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Appeal Filed to Defend Greater Chaco From Fracking

Legal Appeal Filed to Turn Back Threat of Fracking

September 1, 2018

21876920832_4ed647323d_kLate yesterday, we filed our opening salvo in a federal appeal to block hundreds of fracking wells in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico.

The brief, filed together with the Western Environmental Law Center, Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, San Juan Citizens Alliance, and Natural Resources Defense Council, seeks to overturn a bizarre court ruling from earlier this year.

We say bizarre because a federal judge initially signaled he was going to rule in our favor that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management violated the National Historic Preservation Act in approving fracking in the Greater Chaco region. Then, in an unheard of judicial flip-flop, the judge changed his mind and less than 30 days later ruled against us.

While a setback, we’re not without recourse. Shortly after this ruling, we appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. And with our latest filing, we’re keeping hope alive for Greater Chaco.

Our latest appeal come as the oil and gas industry is continuing to lay siege to the Greater Chaco region.

This December, the Trump Administration’s Bureau of Land Management has signaled its intent to auction thousands of acres of public lands for fracking in Greater Chaco, including lands within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

And rest assured, despite setbacks, we are winning. This past March, the Trump Administration canceled plans to sell public lands for fracking in the Greater Chaco region.

And in late June, we scored a major court victory that spared 20,000 acres of the Greater Chaco region, including parts of the Santa Fe National Forest, from fracking.

Without a doubt, we are not backing down. We’re keeping the pressure on to keep the frack out of Greater Chaco! 

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Jeremy Nichols

About the Author

Jeremy Nichols | Climate and Energy Program Director, WildEarth Guardians

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