NWF: Bill Would Muzzle the Public’s Role in Public Lands Management

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 12, 2017) – A bill called the “Opportunities for the Nation and States to Harness Onshore Resources Act” would turn permitting of oil and gas on national public lands over to individual states and make energy the dominant use at the expense of wildlife as well as hunting, fishing and rural economies that benefit from outdoor recreation. In addition, the bill would no longer require that oil and gas development on public lands undergo environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Tracy Stone-Manning, the National Wildlife Federation’s associate vice president for public lands, made the following comments about the bill scheduled Friday before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources:

“This proposal would hand management of lands owned by all Americans over to the states in order to create oil and gas industrial zones. The Trump administration has said it doesn’t support transferring or privatizing our public lands, but that’s essentially what this bill would do.

“And the bill would circumvent national environmental laws that require balanced use of public lands, public input into management decisions and protection of our air, water and fish and wildlife habitat. In short, it’s an attack on our public lands.” 

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