Having just spent several weeks visiting many of our states and national parks along the Colorado Plateau, I can tell you firsthand that America is truly blessed with an abundance of natural wonders. And yes, they deserve to be protected and properly maintained. However, the recently passed Great American Outdoors Act, likely signed into law by President Trump, is not the proper remedy for protecting and funding our national park system. While the bill provides funding to help address the backlog of maintenance needs in our national park system, it also comes with a high price tag. Title II of the legislation makes funding permanent for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), committing $900 million per year of federal oil and gas revenues towards the purchase of new lands to be added to the federal estate without Congressional oversight. This is a land grab pure and simple. It will violate private property ownership and perpetuate the government’s mismanagement of the federal estate.
The impacts of COVID-19 on Americans’ health, the economy and our social fabric have been truly stunning. People’s freedom of movement has been restricted and millions sent into unemployment. Businesses that provide the medical supplies, food, fuel and other essentials for the response and daily sustenance are faced with challenges of supply disruptions, worker shortages and increased risk of infection. Recognizing those challenges, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a memorandum that gives flexibility to companies operating under difficult circumstances. The policy extended deadlines for companies to meet environmental reporting requirements, and flexibility with routine testing and monitoring if they can demonstrate a coronavirus-related hardship. The policy is a practical response that relaxes some of the red tape of environmental compliance, but not the substance.
The BLM has never belonged in Washington. It manages 247 million acres, almost half of all public lands, and 700 million acres of mineral rights, with a unique mission. The National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Forest Service, for instance, all have very specific uses, but the BLM is tasked with managing its lands for multiple uses, in numerous categories and under a wide variety of laws.
As a rancher, former employee at Navajo Refining and an individual with a degree in Agricultural Engineering from New Mexico State University, I come at questions about energy development from a multitude of angles. Every single angle leads me to believe that state and federal lawmakers must cut red tape so we can expand natural gas production and delivery.
With climate change dominating the political agenda of the Democratic party, both in western states like Colorado and New Mexico, and at the national level, the specter of a tax on energy has re-emerged. While some believe taxing carbon dioxide can address the issue of global warming without an expansion of government, the tax would really just be a stepping stone to the $93 trillion Green New Deal. Carbon tax proposals are almost always falsely labeled as commonsense, middle ground solutions, but the claim that a tax on energy would satisfy all parties does not stand up to scrutiny.
New Mexico recently welcomed members of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee as they held a field hearing in Santa Fe. The visiting federal lawmakers responded to our state’s hospitality by attacking and slandering New Mexico’s most important industry: oil and gas. Contrary to what these Washington politicians say, a sustainable and economically prosperous future for New Mexico means embracing oil and gas production in our state. Our record budget surplus and declines in methane make it clear that best way to continue on the path to a brighter future for our people is supporting what is already making this happen: responsible development of all of our resources, including oil and natural gas.
Innovation is one of the best tools to conserve endangered species and keep invasive species under control. By: U.S. Senator John Barrasso Wyoming is home to some of the most incredible wildlife on the planet. People travel from all over the world to experience our state’s natural beauty and see …