Don’t let Trump cripple NEPA process
For 50 years, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) has allowed concerned citizens to speak up about federal projects that are under consideration in their communities. I know firsthand how valuable this law has been.
Over a decade ago when the federal government issued oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide, a broad coalition of ranchers, hunters, anglers, conservationists, snowmobilers and others spoke out about why this pristine roadless area should not be destroyed by oil and gas development. We pointed out that the Thompson Divide contained incredible wildlife habitat and migration corridors that connected three different wilderness areas. We talked out how road construction would destroy the watershed and grazing that ranchers like myself depend upon. And we argued that such energy development could cripple our vibrant outdoor recreation economy. Thanks to NEPA, our voices were heard and many oil and gas leases were cancelled.
Unfortunately the Trump administration is now proposing to virtually dismantle the NEPA process so it can rush through projects such as mines, pipelines and energy development without getting input from affected communities. This wrong-headed proposal stifles the voices of ordinary citizens and erodes the fabric of our democracy. We cannot let this happen!
Please join me in speaking out against this disastrous proposal. You can go to http://www.regulations.gov and submit comments for Docket ID No. CEQ-2019-0003. Or you may mail them to: Council on Environmental Quality, 730 Jackson Pl NW, Washington, D.C. 20503, Attn: Docket No CEQ-2019-003. The deadline for comments is March 10th.
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Just as we spoke up for the Thompson Divide, it is now time to speak up for the very process that allows citizens to have a voice in federal lands projects. Our watersheds, wildlife, livelihoods and communities are depending on us.
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