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Blowout: Inside America's energy gamble

Drilling overwhelms agency protecting America’s lands

The Bureau of Land Management is making it easier to produce oil and gas on federal acreage. In southeastern New Mexico, it can’t even keep up with what’s already happening.

A flare burns on May 24, 2018, atop a drill pad on land near Carlsbad, N.M., that Wayne Smith leased for ranching before his…

Blowout: Inside America's energy gamble

How a new oil boom is transforming West Texas, sending U.S. oil around the world and threatening efforts to fight climate change.

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Wayne Smith (foreground) and business partner J.W. Todd, pictured on May 24, 2018, have objected to the way the federal gove…

The once-in-a-generation opportunity

Public land near Carlsbad, N.M., is cleared for oil and gas development on May 24, 2018. Wayne Smith, who leased it for ranc…
George Veni, executive director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, stands above a stream that flows out of P…
Workers repair oil and gas equipment on public land near Carlsbad, N.M., on May 24, 2018.

A helping hand

Carlsbad Caverns National Park’s Big Room, eerie and otherworldly, on Dec. 18, 2010. National Park Service staffers worry th…

Struggling to adjust

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