Lawsuit takes aim at oil boom in Permian Basin

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Environmentalists say U.S. land managers violated environmental laws and their own regulations when issuing dozens of leases to drill in one of the nation’s busiest oilfields.WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court, claiming the oil boom in southeastern New Mexico is a threat to Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the surrounding area’s cave systems and desert slopes.The group also is concerned about deteriorating air quality, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management failed to consider the cumulative effects of oil and gas development in the Permian Basin.The agency is updating the area’s development plan, but environmentalists contend more than 200 leases awarded in 2017 and 2018 compromise that effort.The leases in question cover more than 106 square miles (276 square kilometres) in New Mexico.Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press