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Energy Group Asks BLM to Reconsider Allowing Oil and Gas Wells near Chaco Canyon

John Fowler
Creative Commons
An oil and gas plant near Bernalillo, New Mexico in 2014

An advocacy group for the energy industry is asking the director of the Bureau of Land Management not to cancel an oil and gas lease sale for three parcels near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico.

The Farmington Daily-Times reports that the Consumer Energy Alliance wrote BLM Director Neil Kornze to ask him to reinstate the sale, which was scheduled for October 19th but has been canceled by the Farmington Field Office. The alliance’s president, David Holt, wrote that the agency’s decision “is adding economic strain to a state that is already under duress” and means New Mexico will not create new jobs or rake in new tax revenues. The BLM announced in June that it was deferring the auction of about 2,000 acres because required NEPA and tribal consultation had not yet been concluded. Chaco is on the UNESCO world heritage list and is an International Dark Sky Park.

Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal. She is currently a freelance writer as well as the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.
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