Bill underscores need to protect cultural resources, community health, safe climate

April 9, 2019

Members of the Greater Chaco coalition, which includes Guardians, are applauding New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and New Mexico Congressman Ben Ray Lujan and Congresswoman Deb Haaland for reintroducing the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act of 2019.

The bill, first introduced in 2018, withdraws federal minerals from oil and gas leasing in a roughly 10-mile buffer around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. However, the bill also acknowledges that Greater Chaco extends far beyond just this buffer. It recommends meaningful Tribal consultation and for the Bureau of Land Management to manage oil and gas leasing on federal and tribal lands in the interest of the health, safety, economies, and quality of life of local communities. It also calls for additional health and safety measures in the region.

“We’re thankful to Senators Udall and Heinrich and Representatives Lujan and Haaland for taking steps to rein in unfettered oil and gas development and in their acknowledgement of the total costs of our federal drilling program to climate change, culture, and community health,” said Guardians’ Rebecca Sobel.

Read the press release.

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