New Mexico

As Coal Collapses, Groups Appeal 25-year Extension of Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine (News Release 4/20/16)

Suit Seeks Renewable Energy Transition Alternatives

Amid crumbling coal economics and surging renewable energy growth, Navajo, regional and national conservation groups filed suit today in Arizona’s federal district court challenging the U.S. government’s 25-year extension of coal operations at Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine. The approval, which allows coal mining and combustion through 2041, lacked any assessment of clean energy alternatives.

Judge Rules Feds Improperly Refused to Protect Wolverines (Press Release 4/4/16)

Orders Reconsideration of Safeguards for Species Imperiled by Climate Change

Today, the federal district court for Montana rejected a decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to deny protections for wolverines in the contiguous U.S. The court ruled the Service improperly ignored science and violated the Endangered Species Act. A broad coalition of conservation organizations challenged the Service’s refusal to protect imperiled wolverines by listing them under the ESA.

BLM Defers Fracking Around New Mexico’s Sacred Chaco Canyon for Third Time (Press Release 3/22/16)

3/22/2016
Rampant Drilling in the San Juan Basin Continues to Threaten Public Health, the Climate, Clean Air and Water

UPDATE: BLM has admitted an internal mix-up on this issue. The leases are not yet deferred, and we can expect a news release from the agency on or around May 5.

 

Lawsuit to Challenge Feds’ Approval of Decades More Coal Pollution at Four Corners (Press Release 12/21/15)

12/21/2015

After years of refusal by U.S. government agencies to address coal pollution damage from the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine, Diné (Navajo), regional and national conservation groups today took joint legal action to seek justice for impacts to communities, the climate and endangered species. 

Judge Fails to Halt Fracking in Greater Chaco (Press Release 8/17/15)

8/17/2015
Northwest New Mexico Oil Drilling Will Continue Despite Risks to Communities, Cultural Resources and the Environment

Hopes for a respite from a fracking boom plaguing Navajo and public lands in New Mexico’s Greater Chaco area were thwarted Friday when a federal judge failed to grant a temporary halt to drilling. Despite the lack of environmental review or a comprehensive plan for fracking in the area, the Bureau of Land Management will be allowed to continue to grant hundreds or even thousands of new permits to drill and frack the area. 

Courtroom slugfest nears as drilling creeps toward ancient Chaco world (E&E News 7/13/15)

7/13/2015

Kyle Tisdel and Samantha Ruscavage-Barz sift through rocks beside a dusty road in New Mexico's high desert, searching for remnants of life a thousand years past.

With the nearest meager town of Cuba an hour away, they're off the beaten path by any standard. But to them, these dirt roads surrounding Chaco Canyon are the front lines of a monumental battle pitting ancient Pueblo culture against the modern world's thirst for oil.

Drilling dims the star-bright night sky above N.M.'s shale frontier (E&E News 7/21/15)

7/21/2015

CHACO CANYON, N.M. -- It's 7:45 a.m. on a sunny June morning and a line is already forming outside the visitor center at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The sign-up list for a moonlit walk through the park's most prized Pueblo ruins has only 30 spots, and the lights in the sky are promising a show tonight.

Later, as the sun sets over the West Mesa and the moon rises over the ancient walls of Pueblo Bonito, park ranger G.B. Cornucopia fixes his gaze on the Western sky.

Court considers oil moratorium at Chaco Canyon (Albuquerque Journal 7/13/15)

7/13/2015

Environmentalists and oil industry representatives faced off in federal court on Monday over oil drilling in the Mancos Shale near Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico.

A group of environmental organizations filed suit last March to force the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to conduct a new environmental impact study on the effects of oil production in the Mancos Shale near Chaco Canyon.

Sacred Lands Ban in Court (News 7/13/15)

7/13/2015
Environmental groups make their case against BLM's permitting practices

A judge is due to hear arguments today in Albuquerque in a lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s approach of issuing one oil and gas development permit at a time, rather than considering the cumulative effects of all the wells in an area on public health, the environment and cultural resources.

Plaintiffs include San Juan Citizens Alliance, WildEarth Guardians, the National Resources Defense Council and Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, being represented by attorneys from the Western Environmental Law Center and WildEarth Guardians.

Archaeologists call on feds to protect Chaco Canyon area (News 6/30/15)

6/30/2015

Tucked away among northwestern New Mexico's sandstone cliffs and buttes are the remnants of an ancient civilization whose monumental architecture and cultural influences have been a source of mystery for years.

Scholars and curious visitors have spent more than a century trying to unravel those mysteries and more work needs to be done.

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