End the Threat of Oil and Gas Drilling in National Parks

Target: U.S. Congress

Goal: Uphold the purpose of national parks by ending oil and gas drilling operations

The national park system preserves land across the country for future generations to enjoy. However, it seems these national parks are not as protected as we are led to believe. The National Park Service has identified 42 parks where private oil and gas drilling is taking place, or set to take place in the future. The thought of drilling for fossil fuels in the Grand Tetons or the Everglades is outrageous, especially when these lands are set aside to prevent destructive actions from taking place on them. In the present political climate where there is gridlock between the two parties concerning energy policy, the oil and gas industry is taking advantage and using its power to influence politicians. It’s working. Some politicians are calling for the rollback or elimination of federal oversight of energy on public lands. Instead, more relaxed state regulations would take precedent. Too much pristine natural area has already been marred by oil and gas extraction processes, we must not let the national parks be next.

The parks where drilling is occurring or could occur were assessed based on their proximity to fossil fuel resources, drilling already taking place near the park, and the existence of non-federal mineral rights within the park. This last factor is perhaps the most disturbing. Individuals can own a piece of land completely surrounded by a national park, called an inholding. Unfortunately, if that individual drills for oil and gas not only that piece of land is degraded, but the park land as well. Another disturbing loophole to drilling in national parks is a split estate. This is where the government owns the surface of the land and a private organization owns rights to the minerals beneath the surface. Expansion of drilling everywhere, especially in our national parks, which are symbols of our nations natural beauty, perpetuates our country’s unwillingness to expand renewable energy resources. It is appalling that we will go so far as to destroy that which we said we would protect.

Development in national parks must comply with environmental laws to protect air, water, wildlife, and public health. Do not let politicians influenced by the oil and gas industry threaten these laws. Please sign this petition to ensure that our national parks remain drill free sites for many years to come.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Congressmen and women,

Our national park system was created to preserve and protect the diverse natural beauty of our country for many generations to enjoy. However, according to a recent report from the national park service, many of these protected areas are being threatened with oil and gas drilling projects. Some parks already have drilling sites in place. It is well known that there exists a gridlock between the two parties when it comes to climate change and energy policy, but to go so far as to drill in the Grand Tetons or the Everglades? That is appalling. There is a call for the rollback or elimination of federal oversight of energy on public lands in Washington. Please do not let the political climate and influence of big oil and gas industries destroy our national park land.

Any development in national parks must comply with environmental laws to protect air, water, wildlife, and public health. If these regulations are rolled back and destructive drilling projects are allowed in national parks we will have defeated the whole purpose of the national park system. As our representatives we want you to protect these areas for us to enjoy for many years to come.

Please do not let the oil and gas industry influence your decision to uphold and maintain current laws on drilling in national parks. Do not allow new drilling sites to be opened on protected land.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Danika Garcia

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Signatures

  • Alper Arslan
  • MTJ Kniese
  • Lone Maimburg
  • Lone Maimburg
  • Peter Kelly
  • Sheyla Lima
  • hooppole
  • Chris Szymberski
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