Prevent Drilling in National Parks

Target: Michael T. Reynolds, Acting Director of the National Park Service

Goal: Prevent drilling for oil and gas within U.S. National Parks.

U.S. National Parks are now under threat as federal agencies look for ways to uninhibit fossil fuel companies. Since the signing of a new executive order to increase domestic energy production, eyes have turned to regulations that help to prevent drilling in National Parks by ensuring companies be responsible for the damage their practices cause. This desecrates the purpose of national parks to conserve land for public appreciation in perpetuity, and must be stopped at all costs.

There are already over 500 active oil and gas wells in 12 national parks due to a phenomenon called “split estates,” whereby the federal government owns the surface lands that comprise a national park, but not what’s underneath. As a result, parks like Big Cypress National Preserve are tainted by oil and gas wells, and critically endangered species such as the Florida panther, red-cockaded woodpecker, and West Indian manatee are further threatened.

If regulations requiring sound environmental practices are watered down, an additional 30 national parks could become new sites for drilling operations, and risk polluting some of the nation’s extraordinary and vulnerable ecosystems. Tell the National Park service that this flagrant support for fossil fuel extraction violates its core duty to protect national parks and will not be tolerated.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Acting Director Reynolds,

Under President Trump’s “Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth,” federal agencies are charged with finding ways to remove inhibiting regulations on fossil fuel companies. Unfortunately, this had led to a discussion of allowing oil and gas companies to drill within U.S. national parks, a move with little potential benefit and so much potential cost. In your capacity as Acting Director, I ask you to keep strong regulations against drilling in national parks in place to ensure the preservation of some of our nation’s most unique and threatened ecosystems.

The National Park Service has a legal mandate to leave parks “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” Encouraging drilling within our national parks would objectively flout that duty, threatening sensitive areas with oil spills and explosions common to fossil fuel extraction. Moreover, anthropogenic climate change is largely caused by burning fossil fuels, so by supporting their use, the National Park Service is partly responsible for the myriad ecological damages to national parks caused by rising temperatures.

Drilling in national parks poses so many threats to our nation’s most beautiful landscapes, and offers little hope of facilitating U.S. energy independence. Please do what’s right and protect our national parks from desecration, for the sake of preservation principles, the public, and the planet.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz

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2 Comments

  1. Jensen Farr says:

    Protect the parks now

  2. NO DRILLING FOR OIL AT ANY NATIONAL PARK FOR GOOD NOW.

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