For Immediate Release--April 30, 2019
Albuquerque—As the public comment period closes on the second quarter Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and gas auctions, Food & Water Watch supporters have submitted nearly 12,000 written protests slamming the Interior Department agency for continuing to sell off drilling rights near the Chaco Culture National Historical Park, a unique UNESCO World Heritage site. Earlier this year, Food & Water Watch members throughout the country responded with more than 27,000 written protests to the first quarter lease sale.
Four times a year, drilling rights are offered at an online auction for as little as $2.00 an acre. As much as 91% of the Chaco Canyon area has already been leased for oil and gas operations, including fracking.
Food & Water Watch Southwest Director Eleanor Bravo responded to the BLM’s aggressive marketing of federal lands to oil and gas operators:
“Despite New Mexico State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard’s recent executive order instituting a moratorium on drilling on state lands, the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies refuse to follow her lead in protecting sacred lands, like Chaco Canyon. Oil and gas drilling, including fracking, does not belong on federally protected land--or any sensitive area. Food & Water Watch and our supporters are outraged by this flagrant abuse by the Bureau, which instead of following its mandate protect the health of public lands for generations to come is acting as a broker for the fossil fuel industry.”
Contact: Eleanor Bravo, 505-730-8474, [email protected]
Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold & uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people’s health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.