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Media Contact:

Justin Wasser, 202.753.7016, jwasser@earthworks.org

Background: On Friday, 3 June 2023, Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a 20 year moratorium on permitting for oil & gas extraction within 10-miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. This follows decades of work by residents, advocates, Tribes, and elected officials to better protect the culturally sacred sites and health of people living in the Four Corners region. 

Statement by Earthworks Four Corners Field Advocate Kendra Pinto:

“The decision to protect the lands, cultural heritage and health of people around Chaco National Historical Park is long overdue and Secretary Haaland deserves praise for taking action now. This decision puts people before polluters, as it should be. 

“The harms of oil & gas have piled on Indigenous communities in the Four Corners region. Improvements to our whole health: our cultural and spiritual well-being as well as our physical health, will take years to heal. This is only the beginning.

“Environmental injustice for Indigenous communities does not stop 10-miles from the Chaco Culture National Historical Park boundaries. Similar efforts must be made on all Federal lands, and the Biden administration should begin the managed decline of this polluting and harmful industry for our climate, our health, and for justice.”

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