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Proposed Legislation Aims to Restrict Oil and Gas Development Near Chaco

Austin Cope
Undeveloped land on the road to Chaco.

The Navajo Nation, the All Pueblo Council of Governors, and conservation groups are supporting legislation that would make permanent a moratorium on new oil and gas development around Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The bill, which was introduced Tuesday by New Mexico’s two senators, would withdraw approximately 316,000 acres of federally owned minerals from future leasing. During a conference call to announce the legislation, Navajo President Russell Begaye said his people “believe in protecting our invaluable and irreplaceable cultural resources.”

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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