UPDATE: Rocky Mountain National Park was spared from fracking, but Trump is still planning on auctioning off hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in the American West to the oil and gas industry. Worse, he’s now stripping our National Monuments of protection to appease fracking companies.
President Trump is wasting no time opening the fracking floodgates on our public lands. His latest plans? To auction off 27,000 acres of public lands next to Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park to the oil and gas industry.
It’s part of a broader scheme to sell off public lands to the oil and gas industry. All told, in 2017 alone, nearly 1 million acres are on the auction block.
While Rocky Mountain National Park is at risk, so is Zion National Park in Utah, Chaco Canyon National Historical Park in New Mexico, and vast expanses of public lands in Nevada and Wyoming.
While we stand to lose our public lands–our American birthright–our climate, our clean air and water, and our communities all stand to lose. These latest public lands giveaways stem from the Trump Administration’s climate denial, disregard to the our health and quality of life, and belief that oil and gas industry executives deserve to get rich at our expense.
WildEarth Guardians is continuing to try to block these public lands giveaways for fracking. Last summer, we filed a groundbreaking lawsuit to defend our climate from the sale of nearly 400,000 acres of lands for fracking in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. If you haven’t yet, check out our story mapping series detailing this lawsuit and the promise it holds to protect our lands and our climate.
In the meantime, we’re continuing to call for an end to giving away our public lands to the oil and gas industry. Earlier this week, we filed appeals to block nearly 125,000 acres of public lands oil and gas sales in Colorado and Utah, including the plans to auction off lands next to Rocky Mountain National Park. And if you missed it today, we have a chance to halt plans to auction off 70,000 acres for fracking in Montana.
And it’s not just treehuggers like WildEarth Guardians who are stepping up to confront the Trump. In Colorado, local governments and landowners also appealed to block the Administration’s proposal to auction off lands next to Rocky Mountain National Park. The proposal even met opposition from a former George W. Bush Administration Interior Department official who made a name for herself by rolling back public lands safeguards to accommodate more oil and gas drilling and fracking back in the early 2000’s.
With President Trump advancing some of the most extreme public lands giveaways to the oil and gas industry, we need to do everything stand up to confront this scandal. Our climate, our lands, and our future are at stake.