Taos, N.M. (January 28, 2021)—Yesterday, President Biden signed an executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing on federal public lands and offshore water (section 208 of the order). The Department of Interior has been charged with reviewing current leasing and permitting practices.
Archaeology Southwest Preservation Archaeologist and Chaco Scholar Paul F. Reed has issued the following statement:
“For four years, the Trump administration ignored the calls of Indigenous communities in pursuit of ‘energy dominance.’
“Places that are sacred to these communities, including Chaco Canyon, Bears Ears, and Chimney Rock National Monument, were all threatened by reckless oil and gas leasing proposals. We need a dramatic course-correction, and this decision to pause leasing is a much-needed first step in the right direction.
“I look forward to engaging with the Department of Interior as it moves forward with leasing reform, and to the day when the ancestral homes of Indigenous communities are no longer targeted for oil and gas drilling.”
About Archaeology Southwest
Archaeology Southwest is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona, that explores and protects the places of our past across the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest. For three decades, Archaeology Southwest has fostered meaningful connections to the past and respectfully safeguarded its irreplaceable resources. Learn more at archaeologysouthwest.org.