Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

House committee approves reversal of Chaco Canyon drilling ban

Eric Draper
AP Photo
Chaco Culture National Historical Park

The Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would reverse the Biden administration’s recent ban on oil and gas drilling near Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The Interior Department order last month ended new leasing within 10 miles of the park on about 330,000 acres to protect the environment, sacred sites and tribal communities last month.

Some Navajo allottees as a result won’t be able to lease their land for drilling.

The order has been opposed by some Navajo leaders including President Buu Nygren over concerns about potential economic impacts.

Republican critics in Congress say the administration’s actions are “overreaching.”

Environmental groups and some New Mexico tribal members, however, have applauded the move and say it’ll protect public health and animal habitat in northwestern New Mexico.