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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fracking O'Keeffe Country

The energy boom's coming back in the San Juan Basin. Only this time, instead of penetrating the earth in search of natural gas, the drill rigs are looking for oil, in the Gallup Sandstone/Mancos Shale formation. And they're apparently finding it. While drilling remains pretty slow in the old natural gas hotspots, it's ramping up further south, near Chaco Canyon, the Navajo communities of Lybrook and Nageezi and near the Black Place, a series of elephantine hills immortalized by Georgia O'Keeffe in some of her most famous paintings.

I wrote about it for High Country News.

These photos are from the badlands surrounding the Black Place.

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