The San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico and southwestern Colorado has been a hydrocarbon extraction hotspot since the 1920s. At least 40,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in this 10,000-square-mile geologic bowl. Natural gas was the hot commodity. Then, around 2010, horizontal drilling and multistage hydraulic fracturing opened up oil deposits closer to Chaco Canyon and the Navajo communities of Nageezi, Lybrook and Counselor. Read my High Country News story on the Indigenous activists pushing back against the drilling onslaught.
Journalist, editor and writer focusing on the Western United States and its landscapes, communities, and cultures. Creator of Land Desk. Author of "River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster" (Torrey House Press 2018), "Behind the Slickrock Curtain" (Lost Souls Press 2020), and the forthcoming "Sagebrush Empire: A journey into the heart of the public land wars" (Torrey House 2021).
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