Land commissioner fighting to protect endangered species

New Mexico
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New Mexico’s land commissioner is suing the state engineer, saying he’s putting endangered species at risk. 

Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says engineer Tom Blaine has been approving illegal well permits, allowing the oil and gas industry to pump too much water out of state trust lands. 

Dunn says the practice is depleting water resources for five endangered and threatened species living in southern New Mexico rivers, including the Texas hornshell mussel. 

He’s asking the courts to issue a restraining order in the case to stop the engineer from issuing permits. 

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