Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Will NM's Chaco Region Be Sacrificed for U.S. Energy Dominance?


Thursday, September 24, 2020   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- Tomorrow is the final day to comment on a controversial plan that allows for thousands of new oil and gas drilling sites in New Mexico's historic Greater Chaco region.

The plan is opposed by dozens of conservation groups, New Mexico tribes, communities and citizens who have asked for more time to comment on the plan.

Miya King-Flaherty, organizing representative for Our Wild New Mexico at the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, said most tribal people who will be directly impacted by the drilling in northwest New Mexico couldn't participate in virtual meetings on the issue because they don't have internet access or adequate broadband.

"Also, given how COVID ravaged the Navajo Nation, a lot of people were just very much focused on keeping themselves safe, their family safe and just dealing with that crisis," King-Flaherty said.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to add up to 3,100 new industrialized fracking wells in the Greater Chaco region.

Proponents of the Trump administration's energy-dominance policies say development on public lands is necessary for the nation's economic and energy security.

King-Flaherty said a coalition of 50 organizations sent a letter last week asking the U.S. Department of the Interior to halt the drilling plan for the Chaco region until the public can participate in-person without risk to health and safety.

She believes there's too much at stake to continue with the current plan and process.

"It would further create health impacts, potentially contaminate groundwater resources, and it will further desecrate a cultural landscape that is very important to tribes, the Pueblo and the Navajo," King-Flaherty said.

More than 93% of public lands in the Greater Chaco region already are leased for oil and gas development, and the BLM would like to open up nearly four million more acres for drilling.

Following recent virtual meetings, both the Interior Department and the BLM refused to make comments part of the official record, and have yet to broadcast or post the proceedings for public review.

Disclosure: Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021