Current law requires specific Congressional approval before an oil or gas pipeline can be built through any unit of the National Park System. However, a proposed amendment to an energy bill being considered in the U.S. Senate would eliminate this requirement and promote the construction of natural gas pipelines through parks. The Coalition and other conservation groups strongly oppose the pipelines-through-parks amendment. Click “Read More” to see our joint letter to members of the U.S. Senate.
The Coalition has joined the fight in opposing Dominion Virginia Power’s proposed new high-voltage transmission line across the James River near historic Jamestown. The proposal includes 17 huge transmission towers, as tall as the Statue of Liberty and topped with flashing red lights, that would cross the river within view of various historic properties. Click “Read More” to see our letter urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deny the power company’s permit request.
The State of Tennessee has petitioned the U.S. Office of Surface Mining Regulation and Enforcement (OSMRE) to designate as “unsuitable for mining” over 67,000 acres of state-designated conservation lands in northeastern Tennessee. The proposal would provide a variety of conservation benefits, including improved water quality and protection of riparian habitats in two NPS-managed parks that lie downstream of the petition area. The Coalition strongly supports the State’s petition. Click “Read More” to see our letter to OSMRE.
The most recent NPS planning document at Big Cypress National Preserve, an environmental assessment for a proposed oil and gas survey, surprisingly relies upon a disputed district court statement regarding the appropriate management of the Preserve. The court statement was challenged by the Coalition in a September 2015 amicus curiae brief and subsequently disavowed in a federal brief filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of NPS. Click “Read More” to see our letter about this issue to NPS Director Jon Jarvis.
In 2010-2011, the National Park Service (NPS) denied a permit request to hold a professional bicycle race on the main road into Colorado National Monument, citing conflicts with NPS management policies and impacts to access for park visitors. Recent news reports suggest that the new park superintendent may be reconsidering allowing the race after all. Click “Read More” to see our letter to the superintendent.
Big Cypress National Preserve is renowned for its expansive wetlands. A proposed oil and gas survey using massive “vibroseis” trucks would create over 500 miles of new off-road vehicle tracks, including in some areas deemed eligible as wilderness. The Coalition is calling on NPS to prepare a better analysis of the proposal. Click “Read More” to read our full comments.
Did you know that there are currently over 530 oil and gas drilling operations occurring in 12 parks whose enabling legislation authorizes such activities to occur? NPS is updating its 1978 regulations governing such drilling operations and the Coalition has spoken out in support of much needed changes. Click “Read More” to read our full comments.
On December 7, 2015, and crowning over a year’s worth of advocacy, the Coalition submitted comprehensive comments on this plan, outlining criteria by which a successful plan should be measured and expressing strong support for the NPS’s Preferred Alternative. Read our full comments by clicking “Read More”.
Legislation pending in the House of Representatives contains provisions that would gut longstanding and critical protections for national park lands and waters, facilitating the construction of new natural gas pipelines through parks. Read the clear and compelling letter in opposition sent December 1, 2015 to the House and signed by the heads of 15 major conservation organizations.
How can the public and industry alike know at this point what exactly BLM will do in terms of consistently requiring and implementing the prescribed stipulations when future site-specific projects are proposed? The collective federal land management experience of our many members suggests that such uncertainty regarding stipulation requirements will only invite numerous problems (lawsuits, appeals, etc.) once site-specific projects are proposed and evaluated. Again with our focus on the conservation of national park resources, we strongly urge BLM to tighten up, reduce, or eliminate the proposed exceptions, modifications, and waivers.