Reducing Oil and Gas Exploitation in the San Juan Basin
New Mexico and Colorado’s San Juan Basin, an energy “sacrifice zone,” faces unprecedented pressure from the oil and gas industry. Already, more than 40,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the region and more than 91 percent of the land has been leased to the oil and gas industry by the Bureau of Land Management.
The area hosts the nation’s largest methane hotspot as a result of oil and gas activities, a major threat to the climate. In 2016, the area received an “F” from the American Lung Association for ground-level ozone, or smog pollution, responsible for over 12,000 asthma attacks in New Mexican children each year. More than 1,477 spills in New Mexico related to oil and gas production occurred in 2015 alone – an average of four spills per day. In July 2016, a well pad on Navajo lands exploded and burned for days, killing livestock and forcing local residents to evacuate.
WELC is leading a broad coalition of local, regional, and national groups opposed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s plans to sell nearly 1,000 acres of publicly owned oil and gas mineral rights to the fracking industry in this area. The leases are located near the homes of Navajo residents and within 20 miles of Chaco Canyon National Historical Park.
- Mancos Opening Merits Brief (4.28.17)
- Jan. 2017 Farmington Field Office Lease Protest (12.06.16)
- Coalition Comments on January 2017 Oil and Gas Lease Environmental Assessment (9.2.16)
- Client Letter to BLM on WPX Explosions (7.16.16)
- Navajo Allotment Scoping Comments (3.14.16)
- Mancos Appelants Reply (12.18.15)
- Mancos Opening Brief (10.26.15)
- Letter to Acting NM BLM Director on Chaco Lease Retirement (6.19.15)
- Mancos Motion for Preliminary Injunction (5.11.15)
- Mancos Memo In Support of Preliminary Injunction (5.11.15)
News & Updates
A large coalition of New Mexico community, faith, tribal, and environmental advocates today were disappointed by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s (PRC) decision to delay approval of two very low cost solar and battery storage projects that would partially...read more
Groups today delivered a resounding message to the New Mexico State Land Office: To protect New Mexico’s economy and environment, the oil and gas industry must be reined in. The New Mexico State Land Office held an online hearing today to adopt an emergency rule that...read more
Thousands call for U.S. Bureau of Land Management to cancel sale of public lands for fracking in New Mexico
A coalition of groups yesterday appealed to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to suspend a proposal to sell public lands for fracking in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the economic collapse of the oil and gas industry. In a formal administrative appeal (also called...read more
Photo by Doc Searls.