Republicans Move to Sell Off 3.3 Million Acres of Public Land
Update: In an Instagram post late Wednesday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he wouldn't move forward with the bill he introduced last week proposing to sell 3.3 million acres of federal land in 10 different states. He said: "I am withdrawing HR 621. I'm a proud gun owner, hunter and love our public lands. The bill would have disposed of small parcels of lands Pres. Clinton identified as serving no public purpose but groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message. The bill was originally introduced several years ago. I look forward to working with you. I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow."
According to Brad Brooks of The Wilderness Society, "Rep. Chaffetz did the right thing by withdrawing his bill. H.R. 621 would have allowed the sell off of 3.3 million acres of national public land in 10 western states. Citizens throughout the U.S. who treasure public lands expressed outrage about the bill.
"However, Rep. Chaffetz has also made it clear that he aims to dismantle Teddy Roosevelt's legacy elsewhere, by attacking national monuments and the Antiquities Act and promoting other measures designed to starve national federal lands of law enforcement resources needed to prevent vandalism and protect wildlife.
"This is one victory in a broader defense of public lands at large, and we plan to hold Rep. Chaffetz and the rest of Congress accountable every time they fail to protect the places that celebrate our outdoor and cultural heritage."
Following approval by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Rep Ryan Zinke's nomination for Interior Secretary now heads to the full Senate for a vote.
ZInke, saying Teddy Roosevelt "had it right" in putting millions of acres under federal protection, repeatedly defended his belief at his confirmation hearing in keeping most public land under federal control and opposing large-scale sale of public land to states, a position that aligns him with Donald Trump and breaks with his party.
Big Oil Cheers as Trump Plans to Open National Parks for Drilling https://t.co/25OEh4PTFx @HuffPostGreen @greenpeaceusa— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1484269516.0
As Interior Secretary, Zinke's belief could soon run up against possible larger GOP plans to sell federal land to states, foreshadowed in a rule change by the House last month to alter the cost calculations of transferring federal land. And a bill introduced by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) last week proposes to sell 3.3 million acres of federal land in 10 different states, a move environmental advocates and sportsmen groups say would cut economic activity and block public access to larger parcels of federal land. The 10 states affected are Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
This Landmark Conservation Law Is Under Attack https://t.co/OQoccDh3lv @NatGeo @billmckibben @SierraClub @foe_us @algore @ClimateReality— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1485886711.0
For a deeper dive:
Commentary: The New Yorker, Michelle Nijhuis analysis
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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