Former Vice President Joe Biden has bought the private property surrounding Chaco Canyon, an ancient archaeological site in New Mexico, in a $6.8 million deal.
The land, being bought by Boston-based Barnes Group, Inc., will now be off limits to oil and gas drilling, The Washington Post reported.
This isn’t the first time that Biden has attempted to protect this site, which predates Pueblo civilization. In 2004, he and his wife, Jill, formed the Friends of Chaco Culture Foundation to preserve the historical area. In 2010, the Secret Service shut down Chaco Canyon oil and gas exploration on federal lands in the area.
“Having run a major corporation, I could tell you there are simply no shortcuts to economic development,” Adam Fogleman, the chief of staff to Mary Sutton Barnes, one of the brothers behind Barnes Group, Inc., told The Post. “For Chaco National Park to move forward, we have to get government to be willing to responsibly manage that, and they absolutely have not done that.”
In a statement to The Post, a spokeswoman for Biden, reacting to the Times report, said that Biden wanted to prevent further damage to the site, which is so “tremendously valuable to all humanity.”
“Tackling climate change and protecting the environment are not mutually exclusive, and Vice President Biden has taken historic action to do both,” Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a spokeswoman for Biden, told The Times. “He’s continuing to highlight the threat that climate change poses to our national security and our economy, and is taking the historic action to fight the dangerous and dangerous Republican Trump administration rollback of environmental protections, including the rollback of environmental protections to ensure these iconic and important natural areas stay in the hands of our brave explorers and protectors.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.
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