DENVER – June is national Great American Outdoors Month, and in celebration Western Energy Alliance today commends the largest financial contributor of federal conservation funding: the oil and natural gas industry. Under the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), the industry provides 94% of the $2.8 billion annually that goes to national parks and public lands. The law was passed in 2020 and built on a 50-year tradition of balancing productive uses of public lands with protection of America’s treasured landscapes. Unfortunately, this immense source of conservation funding is under threat from anti-oil-and-gas policies advanced by the Biden Administration.
“We’re proud to say the nation’s largest conservation programs are funded almost exclusively from revenues generated by oil and natural gas producers on federal lands,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “Back in 2020, we helped get GAOA passed to provide an appropriate balance between responsible energy development on working landscapes while preserving our nation’s iconic landscapes. We care how the government uses the billions of dollars oil and natural gas companies generate annually.”
DENVER – Western Energy Alliance today denounced Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s decision to withdraw lands from oil and natural gas leasing for the next 20 years around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. The Interior Secretary ignored the Navajo Nation’s compromise proposal and her own conflicts of interest.
“Despite her conflicts of interest, Secretary Haaland announced a withdrawal of land around Chaco that threatens the livelihoods of 5,500 Navajos near the park. She completely ignored the democratic resolutions of the sovereign Navajo Nation whose lands surround the park to put the interests of her tribe, based a hundred miles away, and obstructionist groups first,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance. “The decision prevents Navajo property owners from accessing the oil and natural gas resources they own which provide them with their sustenance. Secretary Haaland didn’t even consider the Navajo compromise proposal when conducting the NEPA analysis necessary to support this decision, which leaves her and the Interior Department legally vulnerable.”
Western Energy Alliance today applauded leaders in Congress and the White House for including reforms to permitting energy and infrastructure projects within the Fiscal Responsibility Act. The following statement is attributable to Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma:
“Western Energy Alliance enthusiastically supports the debt ceiling agreement. This is a strong first step to getting American energy infrastructure more expeditiously permitted, thereby reducing costs to taxpayers, and easing high energy prices for consumers. The reform to NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis, which for decades has been a huge stumbling block to getting things built in America, is extremely important for getting the country back on the path of energy dominance.
DENVER -- Western Energy Alliance and a coalition of 43 associations from across the country today urged the U.S. Senate to reject President Biden’s nomination of Ann Carlson to serve as administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In a letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, the groups cited Carlson’s expressed plans to go beyond the agency’s congressionally mandated mission on traffic safety, despite record highway deaths, to instead turn NHTSA into a climate change enforcement body. The associations also noted Carlson’s lack of financial transparency and potential conflicts of interest to date while serving as NHTSA’s acting administrator and general counsel.
“With more than 32,000 highway deaths last year, the most pressing concern facing NHTSA is saving human lives on the roads today, not hypothetically 80 years in the future. Open records investigations reveal that Ann Carlson believes she was recruited to prioritize climate change above all else and force drivers into electric vehicles,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Alliance. “If Congress wanted NHTSA to be a climate change regulator, it would have given the agency that mission. Carlson would ignore her responsibility to improve highway safety and instead use her position to advance a climate change agenda that the American people don’t support. As we point out to Congress, Carlson also sees her role at NHTSA as an opportunity to flood the federal government with so many anti-oil-and-gas policies that it will be impossible for the courts or future administrations to reverse them, including policies on
DENVER -- Western Energy Alliance today applauded the Navajo Nation’s vote to reject any buffer around the Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) plan to withdraw 351,000 acres from oil and natural gas leasing because it would cost Navajo members with allotted property rights an estimated $194 million over the next 20 years. The Navajo Nation withdrew its previous five-mile buffer resolution after DOI failed to even consider the tribe’s compromise alternative to a proposed ten-mile buffer.
In the resolution, the Standing Committee of the 25th Navajo Nation Council states, “If the buffer zone is adopted, the Navajo allottees who rely on the income realized from oil and natural gas royalties will be pushed into greater poverty.” The Council notes the “detrimental impact to Navajo Nation allottees by preventing the development of new oil and gas resources on allotments as a result of the allotments being landlocked,” exposing the fallacy from DOI that the withdrawal will not impact Navajo lands.