Don't Auction America's Oil Until Congress Supports National Parks

  • By: Aaron Viles
  • Target: Sally Jewell, Secretary, Department of the Interior; Abigail Ross Hopper, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

ACT NOW: Thousands of conservation programs could be stopped in their tracks while the government continues selling drilling rights to oil companies.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund has allowed our National Parks to go from a great idea to a great system, funding the expansion and creation of Grand Canyon National Park, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the White Mountain National Forest and more than 40,000 other state and federal park and conservation projects.

Even better? LWCF funding comes from royalties generated by leases and oil drilling on federal lands. No taxpayers funds are used. Unfortunately, Congress seems intent on letting the LWCF expire at the end of September, threatening an enormous National Park acquisition backlog, and thousands of important state and local projects.

Until Congress reauthorizes the fund, our nation should halt upcoming offshore oil lease auctions. Tell the Obama Administration's Department of the Interior and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that the development of our nation's offshore oil resources should not proceed until the private profit from the public's energy resources supports the LWCF. These critical outdoor conservation and recreation programs are incredibly popular, but are frequently underfunded by Congress.

The Obama Administration can show important leadership for outdoor conservation and recreation by cancelling the Gulf of Mexico energy auction, currently scheduled for August 19, 2015.  This bold action would encourage Congress to take their responsibility for our nation's natural heritage seriously. Join Environment America, Center for American Progress and Care2 in sending this message to Washington - sign the petition today!

View this column from the Center for American Progress for more information about BOEM energy leases and their relationship to LWCF.

Over its fifty year history, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has conserved land in every state and helped fund over 41,000 state and local park projects. This stimulates the local economy and creates new jobs through increased outdoor recreational activities and tourism. The LWCF fund conserves national parks, forests, land by rivers, lakes, forests, farms, ranches, trails, fish and wildlife refuges, state and local parks. It also protects rivers, watershed areas, water supplies, and helps ensure clean water across the nation. 

Please show your support for this important initative by cancelling the planned August 19, 2015 Gulf of Mexico lease auction unless and until Congress reauthorizes and fully funds the LWCF, and ensures the activities of your agency support our nation's natural heritage.

Update #1about a year ago
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