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State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard will sign an executive order Saturday to halt all oil and gas leases on 72,776 acres of mineral estate near the Chaco Region.
Garcia Richard to end all on new oil and gas leasing on state land in Greater Chaco Region

Staff and Wire Report

State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard will sign an executive order Saturday to place a moratorium on new oil and gas development on state trust land in a buffer zone around the Greater Chaco Region.

The executive order will protect 72,776 acres of mineral estate near the renowned World Heritage site.

The announcement, made late Thursday, comes one week after Democratic lawmakers convened a congressional hearing in the area to explore the possible impacts of air pollution on sacred sites.

The state’s all-Democratic House delegation is seeking to halt new oil and natural gas lease sales on federal holdings within a 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Culture National Historic Park.

Four members of New Mexico's all-Democratic congressional delegation has also introduced legislation to prohibit the expansion of mineral development on federal inholdings within a roughly 10-mile radius surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

The future of that legislation is uncertain in a GOP-controlled Senate.

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