Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Robert Redford, Defending Our Public Lands

Click on title above for story.

I would think that they will have a clip soon
of Robert Redford talking about this on the Rachel Maddow site. I
just watched it on the Rachel Maddow show. We must stop this lunatic -
please call your Reps and Senators and tell them not to sell OUR land
to the oil industry.

Read between the lines, this is why the "lunatic" is rounding up our
wild horses.

To contact your reps and senators, please go to: http://www.congress.org



Americans rejected ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’

Bush should respect our choice
By Robert Redford

updated 2:57 p.m. ET, Mon., Nov. 24, 2008

Part of the change Americans just voted for in overwhelming numbers
was to move away from the failed energy philosophy of “drill, baby,
drill” to a more farsighted strategy, emphasized by Barack Obama,
based on clean, renewable energy and efficiency. Yet on the very day
that we raised our voices for change, the Bush administration dragged
us in the opposite direction.

The Bureau of Land Management cynically chose November 4 to announce a
last-minute plan to lease huge swaths of majestic wilderness in
eastern Utah for oil and gas extraction one month before President-
elect Obama takes office.

As its clock runs out, the Bush administration also is trying to open-
up drilling all over the Rockies and Alaska, to green-light oil shale
leasing, and to weaken the Endangered Species Act. Though sad, it’s
no surprise, coming as it does from the same crowd that designed a
misguided national energy policy in secret meetings with the oil, gas
and coal industries.

The BLM didn’t just try to slip the audacious Utah lease maneuver past
the American people on an historic election day, it actually hid the
ball from its sister agency, the National Park Service, and then
rejected the Service’s request for more time to review the scheme.

Among the 360,000 acres to be auctioned for industrial development is
pristine land near Canyonlands National Park, adjacent to Arches
National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. This Christmas gift to
the dirty fuel industry includes parts of Desolation Canyon, named in
1869 by the explorer John Wesley Powell, which has been proposed for
national park status. In fact, the BLM itself described Desolation
Canyon nine years ago as “a place where a visitor can experience true
solitude -- where the forces of nature continue to shape the colorful,
rugged landscape.”

Words alone cannot do justice to the beauty of these places, but they
do capture the absurdity of the Bush plan. Oil and gas drilling in
Desolation Canyon? Industrial development along the meandering Green
River? The thought makes one wince.

The Obama transition team already has signaled its opposition to the
leases, and said that once in office the Obama administration will try
to reverse them. Let’s hope that’s possible. Utah’s eastern expanse
is one of America’s few remaining wilderness treasures. It’s our land,
it’s our legacy, but will it still be here for our children and
grandchildren? We made our wishes about that known loudly and clearly
on election day.

We voted to take control of our own destiny by breaking our addiction
to dirty fuels. We voted to re-power America with clean energy from
wind, solar and geothermal power. We voted to use of our greatest
resource, American ingenuity, to build economic, energy and climate
security, and to preserve our natural heritage. Yes we did. And yes
we can.

Robert Redford, an actor, director and environmental activist, is a
Trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and is the founder of
Sundance, in Utah.

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