Interior Department Bans New Oil Leases Around Chaco Canyon

The policy to be in effect for 20 years.

The Department of the Interior announced that new oil and gas drilling leases will not be issued on public lands around the Chaco Culture National Historic Park for the next 20 years. President Joe Biden first proposed protections for this area in November 2021 in keeping with the administration’s goal to preserve 30 percent of American land by 2030. 

“Today marks an important step in fulfilling President Biden’s commitments to Indian Country, by protecting Chaco Canyon, a sacred place that holds deep meaning for the Indigenous peoples whose ancestors have called this place home since time immemorial,” Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland stated.

Oil and gas industry groups oppose the ban on new leases and, last month, the Navajo Nation withdrew its support for the plan, saying that their members will lose out on potential royalties.

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Secretary Haaland as she pursues the president’s environmental goals.
  • For U.S. energy officials to be discerning about the fuel and power needs of the nation.
  • For tribal leaders and officials as they head the Native American nations.

Sources: Reuters, Department of the Interior


Back to top