President Trump continues to win few friends when it comes to protecting the land, wind, and water that we as Americans hold so dear. It almost seems like our President is more concerned about the potential for making a buck than he is with preserving our commonly-held cultural heritage. Today, he reduced the size of [...]
President Trump continues to win few friends when it comes to protecting the land, wind, and water that we as Americans hold so dear.
It almost seems like our President is more concerned about the potential for making a buck than he is with preserving our commonly-held cultural heritage.
Today, he reduced the size of two Utah national monuments. Bears Ear, which was established by President Obama near the end of his Presidency, was reduced to about 15% of its original size. Grand Staircase Escalante, which was designated as a monument by President Clinton in 1996, was reduced in size by half.
The land remains in the hands of the federal government, but now the acreage not designated as a national monument will be reopened to oil and gas exploration. Because of the ruggedness of the terrain, however, there is little likelihood that this will happen, at least with current technologies
Trump's action represents a disturbing trend in his administration to place profit above protection of the public's land, air, and water. If Trump had his way, I'm afraid that we would see our public lands privatize so that a few would benefit from what is part of the national trust and is owned by all Americans.
Fortunately, lawsuits have already been filed related to Bears Ear and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments, so Trump's action may only be symbolic and could be undone by the court system (thank goodness for the American system of checks and balances). National Geographic online has a good article about this issue for those seeking more information (see https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/12/trump-shrinks-bears-ears-grand-staircase-escalante-national-monuments/.)
More disturbing news may be on the horizon, as a GOP tax bill, passed in the Senate last weekend, includes a provision to open up a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas exploration. Once the Senate bill is reconciled with the house version, it will be sent to President Trump for his signature (for a good article related to this issue, see https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/12/senate-tax-bill-indigenous-communities/547352/.)
If you think that President Trump is behaving like the Grinch when it comes to protecting America's public land, air, and water, send him a Christmas card and let him know so:
The White House
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