House Natural Resources Committee visits Chaco, holds hearing

April 18, 2019

Greater Chaco’s plight is getting noticed in Congress. From April 13 to 15, members of the Congressional House Natural Resources Committee held a three-day trip in New Mexico to learn more about the negative impacts of oil and gas drilling on sacred sites and air quality, especially in the Greater Chaco region.

The Committee observed oil and gas sites using FLIR imaging, which shows normally invisible emissions; toured the Chaco Culture National Historical Park; and heard from local Navajo leadership. On April 15, it held an extensive field committee hearing, during which the New Mexico governor, Pueblo and Navajo leadership, and others offered testimony on the effects of oil and gas drilling on Tribal Nations, cultural resources, public health and safety, and the environment. The field hearing followed the April 9 re-introduction of the Chaco Cultural Heritage Protection Act of 2019 (read more about the bill here.)

“We’re thankful for leadership from New Mexico’s delegation and the House Natural Resources Committee for taking the necessary first steps toward landscape-level protection and meaningful reform of the federal oil and gas program so that it may meet the rights and needs of the culture, communities, and climate of the Greater Chaco landscape and beyond,” said Guardians’ Rebecca Sobel.

Read the press release.

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