Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, AZ

Bob Wick/Bureau of Land Management

America’s Southwest is a vast, geographically diverse region stretching from the Colorado River in the west to the Gulf Coast of Texas and boasting natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon, desert landscapes, and iconic rivers. Rich in natural resources that have long been exploited by the fossil fuel industry, the region holds the potential to become a leader in clean energy.

NRDC is working to help Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma make the transition, advocating for policies that promote renewable power, energy efficiency, and clean transportation. We are also fighting to protect public lands—including some of our most treasured national monuments—from oil and gas development while helping vulnerable communities avoid the health impacts of dirty energy and the climate change it is fueling.

Some of our accomplishments:

  • NRDC has led the way to protect our public lands, pushing for reform of fossil fuel leasing and highlighting the threat that drilling and mining pose to the environment and nearby communities, particularly to Native Americans and other vulnerable populations.
  • Our clean energy experts have worked in New Mexico and Arizona to adopt and carry out renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.
  • NRDC is fighting to protect ecosystems and wildlife in the region’s national monuments, including the Grand Canyon and Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks.
  • NRDC has been working with local partners—the Martineztown Work Group and the Historic Neighborhood Alliance—in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to ensure that their comprehensive zoning plan complies with federal civil rights laws and promotes environmental justice.
  • Through the American Cities Climate Challenge, NRDC will be supporting the cities of Albuquerque, and Austin and San Antonio, Texas to tackle their carbon reduction goals.
  • NRDC has been partnering with TEJAS and local environmental justice communities in Houston, Texas to highlight the disproportionate burden that low-income residents and people of color face from natural disasters and air pollution.