Former Vice President Joe Biden and his family announced Wednesday that they plan to adopt new conservation measures along the dangerous New Mexico border. Speaking to students in Santa Fe, Biden said the goal was to “make sure they can look out at the great Chaco Canyon, and see that they are safe.”
Biden, 70, is reported to be considering a second presidential bid in 2020, following a term as president in 2008 and as vice president in 2016. The border area between the United States and Mexico is the fastest-growing U.S. frontier, according to the Bureau of Land Management. There are an estimated 750 active oil wells, and locals fear that an increase in drilling will have a devastating impact on wildlife and the ancient Chamale Canyons, which are up to 1,300 years old.
Lawmakers have made waves when drilling operations have claimed the lives of Americans, and producers in the region have faced measures to limit their land from being developed.
Biden has the support of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat. She applauded Biden’s decision in a press release. “Vice President Biden’s well-deserved attention and support for protecting Chaco Canyon will be a tremendous boon to our state,” said Grisham.