AEA Joins Coalition to Stop the Federal Land Grab

Senators are holding our national parks hostage for an unpopular federal land grab. President Trump should insist that the LWCF not be made permanent.

WASHINGTON DC (June 9, 2020) – Today, the American Energy Alliance joined a diverse coalition in opposition to Title II of the Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422) which would make permanent the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF.) The Senate voted to proceed with debate last night on the measure, which would – in part – divert revenues from oil and gas production on federal lands to address the maintenance backlog of our national parks.

It should stop there.

AEA objects to Title II of this measure, which would create in law a permanent diversion of $900 million per year of even more federal oil and gas revenues towards the purchase of new lands to be added to the federal estate. AEA urges Senators to fix the bill before final passage and will use it’s Energy Scorecard to highlight those that voted for this bill in its current, flawed form.

Since its original passage in 1965, four federal land agencies have spent $11.4 billion to acquire over 5 million acres of private land, and state and local governments have acquired over 2.6 million acres. S. 3422 would roughly triple spending on land acquisition over average historic appropriation levels. The fact is that the federal government already owns far too much land – approximately 640 million acres or 28% of total U.S. acreage. The federal government owns more than half the land in the eleven western states and Alaska. More than 90% of the land in a number of Western counties is federally owned and more than 75% in many more counties.

Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance, released the following statement:

“Our national parks are indeed a treasure, but they shouldn’t be used as trade bait by Democrats and Republicans who seek to take even more land out of private ownership. The federal government already owns too much land. Making permanent a diversion of nearly a billion dollars per year of federal oil and gas revenues towards the purchase of even more land will only make at harder to manage the lands the government already owns. And it will make it easier for special interests – like the green left – to lock them up from multiple uses including ranching, mining, pipelines, transmission rights of way, and other forms of energy production.”

“My message to Senators is this: start by taking care of the lands already in your control. This flawed legislation must be amended to protect taxpayers from an ever expanding federal estate. We will score against final passage of the Great American Outdoors Act should it pass the Senate in its current form.”

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