Fox News reports that the Biden administration is finalizing a rule that would impose a 20-year moratorium on oil and gas leasing in a 10-mile radius of New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The moratorium was announced in last year and oil and gas exploration and extraction would be banned on over 300,000 acres of land.
This order came at the urging of some tribes, Democratic politicians, and environmentalists. While this is good news for the Patagonia and North Face set, tribal members who own royalties on those lands will get short changed.
Navajo Nation tribe member Delora Hesuse is one of many generational private land owners and gets royalties from oil and gas drilling on her property. She told Fox News that the Biden rule would prohibit resource development on her land, and will not be able to collect royalties once exportation and drilling is stopped. Hesuse says that Biden seems to be listening more to environmentalists rather than Navajo Indians.
Hopefully, Delora Hesuse and her fellow land owners will sue to overturn Biden’s order, but (until that happens) Navajo Indians like her will be driven into poverty resulting from the loss of income they get from royalties. This action isn’t about preserving the natural environment or climate change, but a racist effort to drive people into poverty.
In theory, Biden’s rule does not affect tribal members, like Hesuse, but it will affect park land their property surrounds so oil and gas drilling will be brought to a halt and no doubt environmentalists will be pleased. After all, it is a lot easier to oppose energy production when you have a lot of money and influence thinking you know how other people should live.