What? Did you think the National Parks would be safe? Think again. This is why you need to be engaged in protecting your wild spaces.
From the National Parks Conservation Association:
WASHINGTON – Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) last night introduced H.J. Res. 46, which seeks to repeal updates to the National Park Service’s “9B” rules. The rules require detailed planning and set safety standards for oil and gas drilling inside the more than 40 national parks that have “split estate” ownership, where the federal government owns the surface but not the subsurface mineral rights.
The resolution is just the latest in a series of moves by federal lawmakers to weaken environmental protections for national parks under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). If these repeals are signed into law under the CRA, it will not only stop these protections, it will also prohibit agencies from issuing similar rules and protections in the future, unless directed by Congress.
The House is set to vote Friday to repeal rules to prevent the waste of methane gas from oil and gas facilities. CRA challenges were also introduced Monday in the House and Senate to repeal Bureau of Land Management “Planning 2.0” rules, which seek to guide an appropriate balance of energy development, conservation and recreation on public lands by better utilizing environmental science.
Arizona Republican Representative Paul Gosar introduced a resolution in Congress last night that would weaken regulations limiting oil and natural gas drilling within national parks.
The move was noted in a release by the self-billed “independent, nonpartisan” National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) which breaks it down like this: The resolution, named H.J. Res. 46, would eliminate the 9B regulations passed by the Obama administration in November 2016 to oversee drilling on federal land. The so-called “split-estate” situation involves land acquired by the federal government for national parks where private owners maintain their rights to potentially lucrative minerals underground.
Some key split-estate parks include Everglades National Park in Florida, the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, and the Grand Canyon National Recreation Area.
Imagine an oil spill in the Everglades, or Grant Teton National Park.
The obvious reason the esteemed congressman from Arizona is forwarding this is, of course, uranium mining in the areas in and around the Grand Canyon. With heavy lobbying (aka lots and lots of cash) from the Koch brothers through organizations they set up Prosper Inc. and its sister organization the Prosper Foundation Inc.. I wonder who will “prosper” if this goes through?
Oddly, in Arizona, protecting the Greater Grand Canyon as a national monument has an extremely high level of support in the state. A poll released in February by the Grand Canyon Trust found 80 percent of Arizonans support the proposed monument — including 65 percent of Arizona Republicans.