Newly exposed private emails from senior staff at the Department of the Interior show the REAL reasons President Trump is gunning to strip essential protections from more than two million acres of Utah’s public lands:
Coal. Uranium. Oil. Natural gas.
It’s greed, plain and simple. This is the largest rollback of protected land in U.S. history. And it’s all so Trump can let pro-polluting energy companies — some of his only remaining allies — pillage our public lands for their profit.
We can still stop them. The Senate is considering a bill right now that would reverse Trump’s shameful attack on national monuments. It would make it crystal clear that only Congress has the authority to change the size or status of existing monuments — not President Trump and not his pro-fossil fuel Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Trump reduced the size of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by nearly half last December — on the same day he announced his plans to slice the Bears Ears National Monument into two fragments, reducing the original monument’s overall size by an outrageous 85%. Trump also severed commitments to Native Americans in the region that would protect sacred cultural treasures.
Private emails obtained just weeks ago from a court order make it clear who the Trump administration was listening to:
Energy Fuels, the most active uranium company in the Bears Ears region, met with Trump officials to request access to uranium-rich areas. Andalex, a Swiss company, was looking to mine a 23,800-acre swath of the Kaiparowits Plateau — the same area that Obama administration staffers noted in a 2016 memo contained “one of the biggest coal deposits in the United States.”
The final decision to decimate Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante gave Energy Fuels, Andalex, and a slew of other energy companies exactly what they wanted.
But Trump’s not stopping with these massive giveaways to his pro-polluting cronies. Over a dozen other national monuments are on the chopping block, from Gold Butte in Nevada to the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England.
Here at the NRDC Action Fund we are calling on activists like you to help mobilize massive public pressure on the Senate to permanently protect our national monuments. Meanwhile, our sister organization NRDC and its partners are fighting in federal court to stop the Trump administration’s assault on Bears Ears.
Twenty senators have stood up and co-sponsored the bill — but we still need more to sign on to move this critical legislation to a vote.
If you know your senators already support the bill, send a message of thanks for standing strong against the Trump administration’s attacks — and ask them to urge their colleagues in both parties to do the same.
Thank you for joining us in this important fight.
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