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US agency to review oil, gas leases near Chaco in New Mexico

Interior Native Voices
Susan Montoya Bryan/AP
/
AP
This Nov. 22, 2021 image shows former Hopi Vice Chairman Clark Tenakhongva, right, talking with U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland after a celebration at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in northwestern New Mexico. Some tribes in the Southwest applauded Haaland's announcement that her agency was beginning the process to withdrawal federal land holdings near the park from oil and gas development for 20 years. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan)

US agency to review oil, gas leases near Chaco in New Mexico

US agency to review oil, gas leases near Chaco in New Mexico

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The U.S. government, environmentalists and an energy company have reached a settlement over contested oil and gas leases in an area held sacred by Native American tribes. The agreement this week would pause drilling on a few dozen parcels in northwestern New Mexico near Chaco Culture National Historical Park while federal land managers conduct an environmental review and consult with tribes. The spotlight already is on the region as U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has initiated a plan for halting development on hundreds of square miles of federal land around Chaco park and providing a pathway for tribes to be more involved in decision-making.