FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2022
Mario Atencio, Diné C.A.R.E., (505) 321-9974, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kayley Shoup, Citizens Caring for the Future, (575) 302-7587, email@example.com
Gracie Aragon, Pueblo Action Alliance, (505) 414-4515, firstname.lastname@example.org
Miya King-Flaherty, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, (505) 301-0863, email@example.com
Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians, (303) 437-7663, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kyle Tisdel, Western Environmental Law Center, (575) 770-7501, email@example.com
Greater Chaco Coalition and Citizens Caring for the Future Respond to Biden Administration’s Decision to Restart Oil and Gas Leasing in New Mexico
In response to the Department of the Interior’s decision to resume oil and gas leasing on public lands across the United States, including in New Mexico, the Greater Chaco Coalition and Citizens Caring for the Future jointly issued the following statement:
This week the Bureau of Land Management announced that it would resume leasing public and ancestral tribal lands for oil and gas extraction this June, breaking President Biden’s campaign promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and end new fossil fuel leasing.
This decision will devastate communities and the climate in New Mexico, which has become the second-largest oil producer in the U.S. In the Greater Chaco region of northwestern New Mexico, the vast majority of available lands are already leased for extraction, with over 40,000 oil and gas wells dotting the landscape. Meanwhile, oil and gas extraction is so extensive in southeastern New Mexico’s Permian Basin that the region has been described as a climate bomb. With the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to restart leasing, hundreds of acres of federally managed land near Carlsbad are up for sale for oil and gas, which will exacerbate the threats to public health, air, and water that communities are already facing in the area.
New Mexico continues to be treated like an energy sacrifice zone, even after the Biden administration acknowledged the climate impacts of drilling. Indigenous, Black, Brown, and low-income communities are most at risk from the public health, safety, and climate impacts of expanded oil and gas leasing in New Mexico and across the country.
It is well established that avoiding catastrophic global warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celcius requires ending new investments in fossil fuels, and investing in just transitions. Representing environmental justice coalitions from the southeastern and northwestern corners of the state, Citizens Caring for the Future and the Greater Chaco Coalition stand firmly against the June 2022 lease sale and any future sacrifice of public and ancestral tribal lands for extraction.
Featured image from Greater Chaco Coalition