The Guardian discusses why Indian Country fights against more fracking. Expansion of drilling in New Mexico would threaten sacred artefacts and bring public health risks to area still reeling from Covid-19.
Sage had a theory for what was happening: underground vibrations from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, forced the snakes from their dens and on to the surface.
Over the years, he’s noticed other changes. Vegetation died off and the climate became drier. People living in homes with dirt floors told him they had felt vibrations from the ground late at night, from 2 to 4am.
The Navajo and Puebloan lands of north-western New Mexico where Counselor is located are no stranger to drilling. The first oil well in the area was reportedly drilled in 1911 with natural gas following soon after.
Today, the US Bureau of Land Management is considering a plan, known as the Mancos-Gallup Amendment, which could lease land in the region for some 3,000 new wells – many of which would be for fracking oil and gas. The plan would expand drilling into some of northern New Mexico’s last available public lands, threatening the desecration of sacred Native artefacts near Chaco Canyon while bringing in a swath of new public health risks to a place that’s already reeling from one of the worst Covid-19 outbreaks in the world.