|great kiva at Chetro Ketl|
On Monday, the court began hearing arguments about whether to enjoin new permiting until the case is resolved. Ecana Corp. of Canada and WPX Energy of Oklahoma have drilled about 150 wells since 2011. BP and Conoco-Phillips are also interested in the Marcellus so they have joined the suit. A company attorney told the court that over $1 million has been spent developing the field. Current drilling is based on a twelve year old "resource management plan" that was developed by BLM before fracking and horizontal drilling techniques were widely used. BLM intended to supplement the old plan to include the new technology, but conservationists say that is inadequate to protect local native communities, the environment, and historic buildings from the adverse impacts of fracking. Gov. Susana Martinez has asked the Department of Interior to support the BLM's handling of the issue in the federal lawsuit.