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Are you planning trips to our national parks, monuments, the shores of California or wildlife preserves?

Be prepared to see oil and gas drilling taking place in our treasured lands as Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has become an agent for the fossil fuel giants. He has met with Exxon/Mobil, Chevron and BP more often than other interest groups and even refused to meet with the advisory board to the National Parks Service. When Zinke was sworn in, he promised “to work tirelessly to ensure our public lands are managed and preserved in a way that benefits all Americans for generations to come.”

Now, under Zinke, the Interior Department “supplies the energy to power our future.”

He wants to open up more national monuments — besides the already-opened Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante — and virtually all of America’s coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, including the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as allowing oil companies access to new offshore leases off California for the first time in decades.

This move poses a grave threat to thousands of miles of sensitive shoreline that is home to indigenous communities, marine mammals, shorebirds and fishing and tourism-dependent businesses. Also, Zinke reversed the moratorium on new coal mining on public lands, increasing the climate-changing effects on protected lands and waters.

What would Teddy Roosevelt say to this appointee of President Donald Trump? What should we say to our elected officials?

Wendy Taylor

West Lampeter Township

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prettylight
1 minute ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

I guess people are unaware that Zinke resigned last month. 

He resigned?

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Farmer Vincent
11 minutes ago, Pastor of Muppets said:

I guess people are unaware that Zinke resigned last month. 

Hmm.  He's still listed as Secretary on the official website.   Were you thinking of Pruitt?

Edited by Farmer Vincent

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grieker

Have either of you two found the drilling platforms in the national parks?

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Pastor of Muppets
7 minutes ago, grieker said:

Have either of you two found the drilling platforms in the national parks?

Not yet. But trump is paving the way.

  • Sad 1

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from Climate Hawks, March 18:

 

Longtime fossil fuel lobbyist -- and walking conflict of interest -- David Bernhardt has been formally nominated to head the Interior Department. He’ll use his position to enrich fossil fuel businesses at the expense of the American people -- starting with opening the entire Atlantic Coast to oil drilling. And the Senate is voting on his confirmation next week!

Bernhardt and the Trump regime are moving full-steam ahead with their push to open huge swaths of the Atlantic to oil and gas drilling. They’re counting on you being distracted by Trump’s tweets -- one of Bernhardt’s aides even admitted that he’s “thrilled” by Trump’s ability to keep media attention elsewhere while the Interior Department does the real work.

And just who is David Bernhardt and what kind of real work does he plan? He has more conflicts than other current and former cabinet officials, including the likes of Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, David Shulkin, and Ryan Zinke, combined. New analysis reveals that Bernhardt lobbied as recently as 2017 for 20 different clients who were trying to soften Interior Department regulations. And it worked -- a CNN report found 15 different instances in which his fossil fuel clients got favorable decisions from the Interior Department. Now Trump wants him to run the Interior Department for the benefit of those same fossil fuel interests -- not for the American people.

 

--

 

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11 minutes ago, Farmer Vincent said:

Trump is trying to unload America’s public lands to oil companies before the election

"In a blatantly cynical ploy to undo 35 years of preservation, the Republican controlled Congress in 2017 buried a provision in the GOP’s tax-cut bill to open portions of the 19 million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. Never mind that the only people in the country backing the idea were energy companies, the politicians who do their bidding and the people who profit from them."

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-27/trump-arctic-grand-escalante-oil-drilling

 

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GAO: Trump administration violated law to keep parks open during shutdown

09/05/2019 05:11 PM EDT

The Trump administration violated federal laws when it tapped entrance fees to keep the nation's national parks open during the 35-day shutdown earlier this year, according to a legal opinion from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office.

GAO said the Interior Department moved money between accounts without authorization from Congress, in violation of federal law.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/05/gao-trump-parks-shutdown-3795674

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Interior Department Accelerates Public Lands Giveaway

November 8, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Interior Department announced today that it is considering giving away the United States’ interest to a 10-mile gravel road in the southwest corner of Utah. This is a trial balloon that, if successful, would open the door for the Trump administration to cede control to tens of thousands of miles of dirt roads and trails to the state of Utah, a state notorious for its anti-public lands agenda. The move could affect claimed rights-of-ways in national parks, national monuments, and wilderness areas.

Interior is relying on a controversial and unlawful tool known as “recordable disclaimers of interest” (RDIs) to cede title and control over federal public lands to the state of Utah and its counties. The state of Utah and its counties have filed more than twenty federal lawsuits over its 14,000 alleged rights-of-way. Those claims are brought under an obscure provision of the 1866 Mining Act, known as “R.S. 2477.” The Trump administration is trying to use RDIs to throw in the towel in that federal court litigation.

“If there was ever a case of the camel’s nose under the tent, this is it,” said Stephen Bloch, legal director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. “If the state of Utah succeeds with this first disclaimer it has thousands of similar claims blanketing Utah’s redrock country waiting in the wings. And make no mistake about it, if Utah secures title to these federal lands the state has been outspoken about its intent to pave these dirt roads and trails in an effort to take control of public lands and stop wilderness protection.”

The George W. Bush administration was the first to attempt to use RDIs to give away public lands. In 2003, the Interior Department issued regulations to guide the use of RDIs to cede control over claimed state and county R.S. 2477 rights-of-way. These regulations are contrary to a longstanding congressional prohibition, in place since 1997, on any such rules. Initial attempts by the Interior Department in the 2000s to issued RDIs in Utah were withdrawn.

“National parks could be next on the chopping block,” said Kristen Brengel, senior vice president for the National Parks Conservation Association. “Today’s move by the Interior Department poses a real and immediate threat to national parks in Utah and across the West. Every cowpath and two-track can be claimed as a road and given away to virtually anyone under this regulation. Our national parks could be criss-crossed with roads in places where visitors enjoy the natural beauty and cultural sites.”

The Department’s Bureau of Land Management is giving the public only 30 days during the busy holiday season to review its proposal and submit written comments. BLM may approve the state of Utah’s RDI application as soon as February 2020.

“You can’t undo this kind of damage to our public lands legacy,” said Bobby McEnaney, director of the Dirty Energy Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Interior has a duty to act as a steward of the lands and resources we all own—managing them and holding them in trust for future generations. Instead, the Trump administration is brazenly liquidating cherished places in a mercenary fire sale to a state that admits it will exploit them. It’s a reckless move that leaves all of us ecologically poorer.”

The 10-mile claimed R.S. 2477 right-of-way that Interior is proposing to give away is located in Washington County, in southwestern Utah. Maps depicting of the state of Utah’s claimed R.S. 2477 rights-of-way in Washington County are available here and here. Almost every county in the state of Utah has hundreds if not thousands of miles of claimed R.S. 2477 rights-of-way that could be given away through the RDI process.

###

https://www.npca.org/articles/2341-agency-attempts-to-hand-over-right-of-way-of-tens-of-thousands-of-miles-of

 

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but,

Court vacates nearly 300 oil and gas leases on public lands

A federal court on Friday vacated 287 oil and gas leases issued by the U.S. government that covered 145,063 acres of land in Montana, deciding that the Trump administration did not adequately consider risks to the environment and water supply. 

“The Court does not fault BLM for providing a faulty analysis of cumulative impacts or impacts to groundwater, it largely faults BLM for failing to provide any analysis,” said the decision by Obama appointee Brian Morris, referring to the Bureau of Land Management.

He vacated the leases, which were sold by the administration to oil and gas producers between December 2017 and March 2018. 

He also ordered the bureau to conduct further analysis of the environmental impacts of granting the leases.

The decision came in response to a suit filed on behalf of landowners and environmental groups. 

“The oil rush on Montana’s public lands put generational rural landowners at risk of losing clean water and the sustainability of their communities.” said a statement from Elizabeth Forsyth, an attorney at Earthjustice, which represented the environmental groups. 

“The Bureau of Land Management was well aware that current oil and gas drilling practices would not protect sources of drinking water in these Montana communities, but rushed the sale anyway,” Forsyth added. 

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/496059-court-vacates-nearly-300-oil-and-gas-leases-on-public-lands

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