Photo: Wildearth Guardians
Even a court ruling doesn’t seem to deter the Bureau of Land Management in Farmington. They are determined to push through industry wish lists, undermining environmental review, public input, and even the courts. We’ll continue calling them out and using every tool at our disposal. As always, we are bolstered by so many of you who care about and are equally committed to helping protect Greater Chaco.
Groups Challenge Federal Government’s Response to Chaco Court Ruling
Call on BLM to Reject Flawed Analyses and Meaningfully Engage Public in Greater Chaco Fracking Decisions
Santa Fe, NM: Citing federal requirements, Navajo government officials and 16 tribal and environmental organizations, representing over 1.2 million members sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today calling for public hearings and a more thorough analysis on the agency’s response to a court order meant to curb fracking in the Greater Chaco region of northwestern New Mexico.
“Here we go again,” said Navajo Nation Council Delegate Daniel Tso, who represents the tribal chapters that will be impacted by BLM’s drilling proposals. “The Tribes have spoken, Congressional leaders have spoken, and the courts have ruled that BLM must do more than rubberstamp oil and gas proposals, yet the agency continues to do more to benefit industry and less to benefit people.”
The May 2019 Tenth Circuit ruling held that BLM violated federal environmental laws in approving environmental assessments that failed to analyze the cumulative water impacts of fracking in the Greater Chaco region. Two days after the order was issued, the BLM republished its analyses with a 10-day comment period over a national holiday.
“What is the big rush?” said Samuel Sage, Community Services Coordinator for Counselor Chapter, Navajo Nation. “This process has gotten so old; once again, BLM has provided incomplete work.”
In March 2019, WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility won a lawsuit challenging BLM oil and gas leasing in the state of Wyoming. The order declared that BLM must consider the cumulative impacts of climate change in its oil and gas decisions.
“It’s clear the Trump administration’s ‘Energy Dominance’ agenda intends to sacrifice every last acre for oil and gas, despite enormous tribal and public outcries and crisis-worthy climate impacts,” said Rebecca Sobel Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner for WildEarth Guardians. “These rushed analyses and short comment periods signal that the Bureau of Land Management does not take court rulings or the public seriously, and we’re demanding a new course forward.”
- Julia Bernal, Environmental Justice Director for Pueblo Action Alliance, (505) 220-0051, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Laurie Weahkee, Executive Director of Native American Voters Alliance Education Project, (505) 246-1819, NAVA.EducationProject@gmail.com
“The integrity and validity of the public process must have a thorough environmental impact analysis in order to help establish meaningful community engagement. Anything less is just more injustice and disregard for all beings who are directly living with the environmental violence or the threat of this assault from the BLM. The comment period needs to be extended.”
- Terry Sloan Director for Southwest Native Cultures, (505) 858-0050, email@example.com
- Jennifer K. Falcon, Communications Coordination for Indigenous Environmental Network, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mike Eisenfeld, Energy and Climate Program Manager for San Juan Citizens Alliance, email@example.com
- Eleanor Bravo, Southwest Director for Food & Water Watch, (505) 730-8474, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director for New Energy Economy, (505) 989-7262, email@example.com
- Nomi Green, Cofounder of Earth Holder Community, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shelley Silbert, Executive Director for Great Old Broads for Wilderness, (970) 385-9577, email@example.com