DENVER -- Western Energy Alliance today submitted public comments to the U.S. Department of the Interior regarding the Biden Administration’s America the Beautiful plan to preserve 30 percent of all land across the country by 2030. Since nearly 40 percent of American lands are already considered protected areas, the Alliance urges the department to count multiple-use public lands towards the conservation goal in the America the Beautiful Initiative.
“For the past century, public land managers have struck a balance between developing our country’s abundant natural resources while protecting our iconic landscapes. As a result, we’ve benefited economically and strategically at the same time we’ve preserved our natural beauty and environment,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “However, the Biden Administration is working to upset that balance by pursuing policies to restrict working landscapes and close off more of our country. The Alliance supports balanced conservation of public lands, but the administration is on a preservation-only path that would put considerable energy and mineral resources off-limits, making us more dependent on unfriendly nations like Russia and China.
“The America the Beautiful initiative has been in progress since the beginning of the Biden Administration, but the world is in a different place now. The Russian invasion of Ukraine reveals the economic and strategic risks of limiting American natural resource development. Like the failed energy policies that have led to sky-high energy prices, preventing access to important strategic energy and rare earth mineral resources puts our country and our allies at risk. Oil and natural gas from public lands are already the most sustainable in the world because of all the additional environmental restrictions. Locking away yet more access was never the answer, but Russia has shown us painfully that denial of our energy and mineral strength is foolhardy.”
For more information, please see the Alliance’s letter to the Interior Department.
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