Warren vows to stop new oil & gas leasing on public lands

also eat the rich
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas Feb. 17. (Nevada Current file photo)
also eat the rich
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas Feb. 17. (Nevada Current file photo)

Elizabeth Warren says if elected president, on her first day in office she will sign an executive order prohibiting new leases for oil & gas drilling on public lands.

The Trump administration has dramatically increased oil and gas leasing, including in Nevada. Reversing that policy is one of the highlights of a public lands proposal the Democratic candidate released Monday.

“The Trump Administration is busy selling off our public lands to the oil, gas and coal industries for pennies on the dollar — expanding fossil fuel extraction that destroys pristine sites across the country while pouring an accelerant on our climate crisis,” Warren wrote in a Medium post outlining her public lands policy.

“It is wrong to prioritize corporate profits over the health and safety of our local communities.
That’s why on my first day as President, I will sign an executive order that says no more
drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and
on public lands.”

Warren would also reinstate Obama-era regulations of methane emissions from oil and gas production.

Warren’s plan also calls for producing 10 percent of the nation’s energy from renewable sources on public lands, reversing Trump’s decision under the Antiquities Act to allow energy exploration and production in the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, and letting people visit national parks for free “to ensure that visiting our nation’s treasures is within reach for every American family.”

Among other proposals in her plan:

  • Make make Land and Water Conservation Fund spending “mandatory” in the federal budget. Congress permanently reauthorized the fund earlier this year.
  • “Fully fund” public lands management agencies and eliminate infrastructure and maintenance backlogs in parks and forests.
  • “Jumpstart a 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps” to employ 10,000 “young people and veterans” maintaining public lands.
  • Unlocking “a patchwork of ownership and access rights” that restricts recreational use on public lands in the west.

Nodding to complaints that far pre-date the Trump administration, Warren also said federal public land management agencies must have “meaningful consultation” with people other than special interests when crafting lands use policy. Tribes in particular “have deep connections to land now controlled by the federal government, but are often denied access and consultation about its use,” she wrote.

Warren’s public lands announcement is the latest in a series of policy outlines her campaign has released, including but not limited to: universal child care; anti-trust enforcement and breaking up tech giants; investment in affordable housing funded by raising the estate tax; dismantling the loophole-ridden corporate tax code and replacing it in part with a tax on profits corporations report to shareholders; and perhaps the centerpiece of Warren’s policy agenda, an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax”on the wealth of households with a net worth of more than $50 million. That tax would raise an estimated $2.75 trillion over 10 years.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

1 COMMENT

  1. Warren is wrong to try this IF, and I mean if she were ever to become president (I doubt she ever will). Nearly 1/2 of the revenue received from the oil & gas goes to 33 of the 50 states that produce. You think those states would ever vote for her? Not I.

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