EntertainmentBiden admin unleashes 50-year mining, oil drilling ban across...

Biden admin unleashes 50-year mining, oil drilling ban across thousands of acres in New Mexico


- Advertisment -spot_img

The Biden administration proposed to block of thousands of acres from future oil drilling or mining in northern New Mexico in an effort to protect Native American lands.

According to the Department of the Interior (DOI), the proposal would ban new mining claims and oil and gas development across more than 4,200 acres in Sandoval County, New Mexico, located north of Albuquerque. If finalized and implemented, the action would remain in place for up to 50 years.

“Today we’re responding to call from Tribes, elected leaders, and community members who want to see these public lands protected,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “We look forward to hearing more from the public to inform decisions about how activities, like gravel mining, may impact these lands, including the important cultural and natural resources.”

“We recognize the importance of the Placitas area, both for Tribal Nations and for the local community who visit and recreate in this area,” added Melanie Barnes, the state director of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) New Mexico office.


Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, speaks during a news conference on July 22, 2021, in Denver.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

In its proposal, the BLM stated that the action was designed to “protect, preserve, and promote the scenic integrity, cultural importance, recreational values, and wildlife habitat connectivity” in the region. 

The DOI said the Pueblo tribes of San Felipe and Santa Ana have previously advocated for protections in the area which contains archeological resources from hundreds of years ago. The area is also popular for hiking, camping, sightseeing and hunting.  


In 2019, Haaland, who at the time served in Congress and as vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act which would mimic the actions taken Monday. At the time, Haaland said residents and tribal citizens in the region bear the brunt of pollution produced from the area’s many mines.

Navajo Nation

The Biden administration asserted that the region in New Mexico is home to various archeological resources linked to tribes. (iStock )

Earlier this year, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-N.M., reintroduced the legislation. The pair have also repeatedly called on the DOI to take action blocking mineral development in Sandoval County.


“It is time we put an end to this years-long debate and withdraw these parcels from future mineral development,” Heinrich said during a March event in Albuquerque alongside Stansbury.

Using information available from the BLM, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report on the Buffalo Tract Protection Act in August concluding that the area impacted by the mineral ban has high potential for sand and gravel extraction and minimal potential for development of other minerals. Sand and gravel extraction is key for various infrastructure projects like roads.

The report projected the land withdrawal would result in a decrease of $2 million in federal revenue.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

Target to close 9 stores including 3 in San Francisco, citing theft that threatens workers, shoppers

NEW YORK – Target will close nine store in four states, including one in East Harlem, New York...

8 Mile Actor Nashawn Breedlove Dead at 46

The rap community is mourning a talented freestyler. 8 Mile actor Nashawn Breedlove died in his sleep Sept. 24 at...

10 Most Powerful ‘The Wheel of Time’ Characters, Ranked

As The Wheel of Time (2021-) enters its second season, many more characters are starting to be...

LOKI Season 1 Deleted Scenes Show Chris Hemsworth’s Throg Punching Loki

Since the moment DVDs first arrived on store shelves I’ve been the world’s biggest sucker for deleted scenes....
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

September 2023’s Full Moon In Aries: Its Time To Let Go

If Libra, the air sign known for its balanced scales, is constantly seeking harmony, know that Aries, the...

Realme 12 Pro+ Camera Details Tipped; Said to Feature Periscope Lens Similar to Oppo Find X6

Realme has been tipped to be working on periscope lenses. The upcoming Realme GT Neo 6 series has...

Must read

8 Mile Actor Nashawn Breedlove Dead at 46

The rap community is mourning a talented freestyler. 8...
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

skasj skasj skasj skasj