What is the future of public lands in Colorado under the Biden Administration? – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-02-26 02:24:21 –

Denver — Within a week of taking office after campaigning to protect public land and fight the climate crisis, President Joe Biden fulfilled several promises through a series of executive orders.

The Biden administration is promoting 30% protection of US land and sea by 2030.

One of the executive orders signed by the president has banned new leases of federal public land for oil, gas and mineral development for the next two months as the government examines the leasing process in detail.

Some celebrate this move and what it means for Colorado, while others criticize the long-term ban as having a negative impact on the state’s economy. Denver7 has a 360-degree view of the future of public land under the new administration.

Past present future

The Biden administration’s approach to public land is a very different strategy than the previous administration.

Under President Donald Trump, more than 25 million acres of land were provided for leasing, and an additional 78 million acres were provided offshore. Of the public land leased land, 2.5 million acres are in Colorado. Only a small portion of those lands were actually purchased.

However, Studies published in scientific journals The administration has discovered that it has caused the largest reductions in protected public land in American history, including the reduction of Bears Years and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by 85% and 51%, respectively.

With the reduction, the Trump administration has made more than 120 rule changes and signed a number of executive orders regarding the handling of public land.

“The Trump administration will probably be looked back on as the most out-of-sync administration to date,” said Charles Wilkinson, a law professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “One of the things they didn’t do was adopt a new broad policy. Instead, they went little by little.”

Wilkinson says the effects of the Trump administration’s public land policy will be felt for years. These effects extend to Colorado, as about 40% of the state is considered federal public land.

However, while temporarily blocking the new lease, the Biden team intends to roll back some of the previous leases.

“Some of those leases will be overturned. Some were too late in that if the Biden administration was asked, they could quickly eliminate some of them,” Wilkinson said.

President Biden’s election as Secretary of the Interior is also likely to be an ardent supporter of conservation efforts. Deb Haaland is a Native American who has participated in protests against hydraulic fracturing and pipeline creation in the past.

The Secretary of the Interior has the authority to issue oil and gas leases on federal public land, which puts Harland in a strong position.

“The Biden administration has a lot of room for action and needs to be changed by law,” Wilkinson said.

Preservation, protection, defense

Environmental groups have already praised the Biden administration’s approach on public land, saying it is in stark contrast to the last four years.

“I think Colorado wants our public land to be protected. We saw that under the Trump administration, federal land leased for oil and gas for one acre. It was done. This is not in line with Colorado’s values, “said Garrett Garnerwells, Communications Director, Colorado Conservation Department.

One of the main problems they argue is that it is a problem under the previous administration. The use of a leasing system that has not been renewed for decades to run out of public land.

Colorado Conservation wants the Biden administration to update its system so that the land is better protected.

Changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) also had a dramatic impact on public land. Environmental groups are calling for the new president to revoke these changes as soon as possible.

These changes, along with the CORE and Colorado Wilderness Act, can have long-term implications for state public lands.

Despite Biden’s initial steps to combat climate change and protect public lands, Garnerwells said it would require more than just a few executive orders.

“I think it will take more than four years for us to recover when it comes to protecting the rock environment,” he said.

to keep balance

Some praise the Biden administration’s move, while others are worried about its potential economic impact on the nation and the nation as a whole.

Oil and gas companies are concerned that land leasing may be banned indefinitely.

“We found that a permanent ban on federal leasing in Colorado could result in the loss of about 18,000 jobs and about $ 108 million in state revenue, so here in Colorado. It has a huge impact on the state, “says Lynn. Granger, Secretary-General of the American Petroleum Institute in Colorado.

About 25% of the country’s oil and one-eighth of its natural gas come from federal land.

A small portion of oil development comes from federal lands, but a much larger portion of natural gas is extracted from these lands.

With Colorado the sixth largest oil producer in the country and the seventh largest natural gas producer in the country, changes in federal land leasing will impact the economy.

Grangers and APIs hope that decisions on how to move energy production responsibly will be made at the state level instead, with more local stakeholder processes.

Beyond that, if the United States is serious about tackling the climate crisis, the best way to do so is to take responsibility for the US company, rather than relying on a foreign country with no strict regulations. To be able to develop energy.

“If you’re interested in the environment and national security, you want its natural gas and oil production to take place here in the United States. The United States is safer and cleaner than anywhere else. In fact, Since 2000, the United States has been a world leader in reducing emissions, “Granger said.

Colorado also has some of the country’s most stringent regulatory frameworks, with a focus on public health, safety and the environment as a result of SB 181. Passed in 2019..

The API encourages the Biden administration to carry out a strong stakeholder process to understand the potential unintended consequences of disallowing these federal leases.

“We can’t all choose between the energy we use in bed every day and the environmental protection. We can have both, and Colorado to show that you can have both. I think it did a really great job, “she said.

For now, the Biden administration has suspended federal land leasing to refocus attention on the country’s environment. Some people believe that the move is the right move at the right time. Others are worried that this decision could hurt the United States economically and environmentally. Ultimately, it’s up to the Biden administration to decide how to proceed.

Editor’s Note: In the Denver7 360 story, you can explore multiple aspects of the most important topics for Coloradans, incorporate different perspectives, and make your own decisions about the problem. To comment on this story or any other 360 story, please email us at: See more 360 ​​stories Here..

What is the future of public lands in Colorado under the Biden Administration? Source link What is the future of public lands in Colorado under the Biden Administration?

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