Haaland's Mineral Withdrawal Deals Blow to Local Tribes, American Energy
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Today, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a 20-year energy and mineral withdrawal within a 10-mile radius of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park
"Clearly history is repeating itself as the Biden administration continues disregarding local communities and American interests in reckless pursuit of virtue signaling. Secretary Haaland herself testified under oath earlier this year that she didn't know what minerals she was locking up in northern Minnesota, so let me be the first to inform the Department of the Interior that the resources contained in New Mexico are incredibly valuable and to lose access to them would deal a harsh blow to American citizens. Let's also clear up a common misconception: Chaco Canyon is already protected. No one is disputing that. This announcement is creating an arbitrary 10-mile 'buffer zone' that will lock up resources that could provide $1 billion in revenues over 20 years. Even the Navajo Nation has come out against it, citing the negative economic impacts they will withstand if it goes into effect. Enough is enough. Secretary Haaland needs to reconsider this disastrous decision and put America first instead of environmental extremists." - House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
"The Biden regime’s ban on new oil and gas leasing in the Chaco region is the latest assault on domestic energy production while pushing the United States into further dependence on foreign countries to heat our homes and fill up our cars. Further, this action jeopardizes private mineral rights and completely ignores the many concerns and livelihoods of those affected by this decision." - Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.)
BackgroundToday's announcement would impose a 10-mile buffer zone around Chaco Culture National Historical Park, thereby preventing oil and natural gas leasing in the area for the next 20 years. The withdrawal would prevent 233 horizontal wells and the production of 86 million barrels of oil and 25.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas, costing the federal government $51 million annually in lost royalties, or $1 billion over 20 years. Navajo mineral owners would lose an estimated $194.3 million over that 20-year period.
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