WASHINGTON D.C. - Recently introduced legislation seeks to authorize oil/natural gas pipeline construction across the United States; and no, we’re not talking about the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The National Energy Security Corridors Act (HR 2295) would amend the Minerals Leasing Act, effectively stripping the requirement for Congressional approval of destructive pipeline construction within and across our National Parks. The Bill’s introductory text reads as follows:
“This bill amends the Mineral Leasing Act to allow natural gas pipeline rights-of-way through all federally owned lands, including lands in the National Park System, except lands held in trust for an Indian or Indian tribe and lands on the outer Continental Shelf.”
If the bill were to pass and become law, all 409 National Park Service units across the country would be at risk. Right now, most of the proposed pipelines are on the East Coast including near the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and the Appalachian Trail. However, as oil and gas exploration expands in the West other parks could be put at risk.
It is beyond ironic that such legislation is on the table as the National Park Service gears up to celebrate its centennial. Perhaps those in Washington and the oil and natural gas industry took the imperative to “#FindYourPark” too literally.
In support of our National Parks, representatives Niki Tsongas (MA) and Don Beyer (VA) have proposed an amendment to void this attempt to open our parks to dirty fuels. The Sierra Club, ever on the watch for such measures, is on the case and has released the following statement:
“It’s quite telling where some members of Congress’ priorities lie when their view of celebrating the National Park Centennial is to support building natural gas pipelines through them.”
“At a time when President Obama is working with world leaders to craft a global climate agreement, Congress should be finding new ways to protect our environment and prevent further climate disruption — not looking to speed it up.”
“Simply put, allowing pipelines to be built through what is often referred to as ‘America’s best idea’ is one of the worst to come out of Congress.”
TrailMob encourages everyone to contact their representative in Washington and let them know whether you think pipelines have a place in our National Parks. If you are unsure of whom to contact, below is a handy link on how to contact and a list of the bill’s sponsor and co-sponsors. Feel free to sound off in the comments below and kindly spread the word!
Rep. MacArthur, Thomas (R-NJ)
Co-Sponsors: Rep. Richmond, Cedric L. (D-LA), Rep. Lummis, Cynthia M. (R-WY), Rep. Turner, Michael R. (R-OH), Rep. Farenthold, Blake (R-TX), Rep. McKinley, David B. (R-WV), Rep. Gosar, Paul A. (R-AZ), Rep. Duncan, Jeff (R-SC), Rep. Kelly, Mike (R-PA), Rep. Pearce, Stevan (R-NM), Rep. Schweikert, David (R-AZ), Rep. Perry, Scott (R-PA), Rep. Westerman, Bruce (R-AR), Rep. Thompson, Glenn (R-PA), Rep. Rothfus, Keith J. (R-PA)
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