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10/15/19

Dear Representative,

Subject:  H.R. 3225, Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act

We are writing on behalf of over 1,700 members of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (Coalition), a non-profit organization composed of retired, former, or current employees of the National Park Service (NPS). The Coalition studies, educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation of America’s national park system. As a group we collectively represent over 40,000 years of experience managing and protecting America’s most precious and important natural and historic resources. Among our members are former NPS directors, regional directors, superintendents, resource specialists, rangers, maintenance and administrative staff, and a full array of other former employees, volunteers, and supporters.

Today we are reaching out to ask for your support and co-sponsorship of H.R. 3225, Restoring Community Input and Public Protections in Oil and Gas Leasing Act. This legislation would go a long way toward fixing a broken federal oil and gas leasing system that continues to damage national parks across our country every day. Oil and gas development is a dominant use of our public lands and has been for decades. But under this administration, the threats posed to our National Park System has only increased as the Department of the Interior has pushed the Bureau of Land Management to lease more often and with less environmental analysis. Other uses of federal public lands such as conservation and recreation have been brushed aside and the public has increasingly been cut out of the leasing process.

As written, H.R. 3225 would accomplish four main priorities to ensure our parks and the landscapes that surround them are properly protected from oil and gas development:

  • Protect natural and cultural resources – H.R. 3225 would restore Master Leasing Plans, a collaborative planning process instituted in 2010 and one of the most important tools we had available to protect landscapes adjacent to national parks before this administration did away with them. Under the framework of a Master Leasing Plan, stakeholders would come together to jointly determine the best way to manage federal lands across a landscape to protect multiple uses and ensure that special places such as national parks would not be harmed by development. This legislation would codify in law the ability for federal land managers to develop Master Leasing Plans.
  • Restore and increase public participation – Under this administration, the public continues to have reduced opportunities for input in the decision-making processes when it comes to oil and gas development on public lands, and parks have suffered because of it. By shortening public comment periods, cutting protest period times, and making environmental review optional, this administration has limited the ability of park advocates to weigh in when parks will be negatively impacted by lease sales. This legislation would restore those processes to ensure that public participation is robust and inclusive.
  • Improve Transparency – H.R. 3225 would require companies that nominate oil and gas parcels for leasing to disclose their identities. The nomination process currently allows the nominating party to remain anonymous, which precludes the public from knowing who is interested in drilling on public lands. Increased transparency would greatly benefit park advocates who deserve to know who intends to drill and what their record is.
  • Ensure fair market value for use of public lands – Finally, the bill would bring the federal oil and gas leasing fiscal policies into the 21st century and more in line with the rates that states charge for similar development on state land. Under the status quo, a company can anonymously nominate land next to a national park without paying a fee; purchase that lease outright for a mere $1.50 if no one else bids on it; then develop that land and pay bargain basement royalty rates depriving the American taxpayer of a fair return. This legislation would address all those components by increasing rates for leases, royalties, and minimum bids.

The Coalition has and will continue to play an active role in identifying and commenting on federal oil and gas leasing proposals that could negatively impact national parks. America’s public lands are owned by all its citizens. As such, an appropriate federal oil and gas leasing process should reflect this by being open to public involvement and transparent about the commercial interests seeking to drill for oil and gas on public lands. Yet this administration has made it increasingly difficult for the public to engage in that process, all while mandating increased lease sales in every state across the West.

In closing, we seek your support of legislation that would significantly improve the current federal oil and gas leasing process and ensure that our national parks and public lands are properly protected and conserved for the benefit of both current and future generations. H.R. 3225 will help restore balance to the process and ensure our public lands are managed for all Americans and visitors to enjoy.

Thank you for considering our views.

Sincerely,

The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks Executive Council:

Philip A. Francis, Jr., ChairDonald J. Hellmann
Brenda BarrettBob Mackreth
Sarah BransomDouglas K. Morris
Maria BurksMichael B. Murray
Mark A. ButlerJim Northup
David M. GraberRichard Ring
Rebecca Harriett

 

Members of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks:

Peter D. Armington
Talkeetna, Alaska
John M Morris
Eagle River, Alaska
Janis Kozlowski
Anchorage, Alaska
Wendy Artz
King Salmon, Alaska
Elwood Ly.
Talkeetna, Alaska
William J. Pierce
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Ken Phillips
Flagstaff, Arizona
Robert Arnberger
Tucson, Arizona
Scott Sticha
Hereford, Arizona
Timothy Dwayne Collier
Scottsdale, Arizona
J. W. Wade
Tucson, Arizona
Deborah O. Liggett
Tucson, Arizona
Carol Kruse
Flagstaff, Arizona
Elaine G Grace
Marana, Arizona
Peter K. Nigh
Prescott, Arizona
Bradley S. Traver
St David, Arizona
Richard Smith
Tucson, Arizona
Dennis Burnett
Tucson, Arizona
Michael Tollefson
Scottsdale, Arizona
Charles B. Wahler
Flagstaff, Arizona
Michael J. Ebersole
Williams, Arizona
Bruce D. McKeeman
Prescott, Arizona
Jared Cohen
Scottsdale, Arizona
Mark Ruggiero
Buckeye, Arizona
Don Castleberry
Maumelle, Arkansas
Carl E Hinrichs
Harrison, Arkansas
Daphne Hatch
Novato, California
Don L. Neubacher
Point Reyes Station, California
Susan Hurst
San Rafael, California
Amy Meyer
San Francisco, California
Edwin Hession
Los Angeles, California
Daniel E Sealy
Trinidad, California
Carolyn L. Knoll
Orinda, California
Stephen Warren Underwood
Hydesville, California
B. J. Griffin
Grass Valley, California
Wendy Lieber Poinsot
San Francisco, California
Donald Fox
Mariposa, California
Gary Everett Davis
Thousand Oaks, California
John Bielenberg
Berkeley, California
Robert G. White
Squaw Valley, California
Thomas Allen Smith
San Jose, California
Thomas H. Wilson
Napa, California
Jonathan Warner Bayless
Davis, California
Richard E Wells
Palm Springs, California
Carol Linnig
Estes Park, Colorado
Denis Davis
Montrose, Colorado
William R Morris
Dolores, Colorado
Douglas DeNio
Loveland, Colorado
Roberta Barrows
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Michael Rees
Lakewood, Colorado
Jerry M. Mitchell
Littleton, Colorado
Janet Wise
Lakewood, Colorado
John K. Apel
Montrose, Colorado
Rick Jones
Ridgway, Colorado
David D. Roberts
Montrose, Colorado
Katherine C. Ziegenfus
Lakewood, Colorado
Ronald Thoman
Denver, Colorado
Erik R. Hauge
Erie, Colorado
Ryan Anndevoy
Loveland, Colorado
Larry N Kilborn
Evergreen, Colorado
Dick Falb
Lakewood, Colorado
Anne Worthington
Cortez, Colorado
Elizabeth a. Janes
Mancos, Colorado
Thomas A. Cherry
Loveland, Colorado
Joseph Sovcik
Fort Collins, Colorado
Carla Louise McConnell
Denver, Colorado
Carl John Douhan
Littleton, Colorado
William Jackson
Fort Collins, Colorado
Jonathan B Halpern
Buena Vista, Colorado
Peter E. Baril
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Frank P. Weed
Colorado Springs, Colorado
J. Douglas Cuillard
Arvada, Colorado
Kim Sikoryak
Golden, Colorado
Eric Sandstrom
Fraser, Colorado
Alan Scot McElveen
Cortez, Colorado
Sharon C. Miles
Denver, Colorado
Patrick H. Reed
Fort Collins, Colorado
Robert W Reynolds
Fruita, Colorado
James Campbell, PhD
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Clyde Stonaker
Fort Collins, Colorado
John Chapman
Littleton, Colorado
Margaret l Dolinich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wendell Wayne Gardner
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Stephen W. Syphax
Washington, District of Columbia
Amy Fehir
Washington, District of Columbia
Richard M. Bryant
St. Augustine, Florida
Paul B. Cole III
Kissimmee, Florida
Oron L. Bass, Jr
High Springs, Florida
Cheryl Houghtelin
West Palm Beach, Florida
William F. Loftus
Vero Beach, Florida
Terry Savage
Naples, Florida
James Phillip Corless
Nokomis, Florida
Harry A. DeLashmutt
DeLand, Florida
Lynn R. Wightman
Penney Farms, Florida
Walter F Allen
Lawrenceville, Georgia
Joseph Lee Boyle
Athens, Georgia
Linda Finn
Gainesville, Georgia
Richard W. Frost
Cleveland, Georgia
Leon Lamar Folsom, Jr.
Atlanta, Georgia
Donald E. Magee
Mililani, Hawaii
Daniel Taylor
Volcano, Hawaii
Richard A. Rasp
Mountain View, Hawaii
Michael C. Warren
Boise, Idaho
Robert L Peterson
Boise, Idaho
Terry Michael Di Mattio
Driggs, Idaho
Roberta B. D'Amico
Boise, Idaho
Diane E. Banta
Chicago Heights, Illinois
Robert W Blythe
Chicago, Illinois
Phyllis Ellin
Chicago, Illinois
Debra Levie
Chicago, Illinois
Mary Dorinda Partsch
Chesterton, Indiana
William C Walters
Nashville, Indiana
George B. Hartzog
Bloomington, Indiana
Norman D. Hellmers
Valparaiso, Indiana
Christine L. Korsmo
West Branch, Iowa
Neil Korsmo
West Branch, Iowa
Jack E Stark
Wichita, Kansas
Sue Pridemore
Council Bluffs, Iowa
Kenneth E. Apschnikat
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Chuck Bloomingburg
Paducah, Kentucky
Lynn D. Jamison
Louisville, Kentucky
Jay P. Eickenhorst
New Orleans, Louisiana
Charles D Jacobi
Bar Harbor, Maine
Elizabeth K. Murray
Brunswick, Maine
Emily Prud'homme
Bernard, Maine
John Howard
Emmitsburg, Maryland
William Scott Hall
Bethesda, Maryland
Bill Wilkinson
Bethesda, Maryland
George Alderson
Catonsville, Maryland
David Nathanson
Frederick, Maryland
Katherine Stevenson
Potomac, Maryland
David C Hartman
Frederick, Maryland
Chris Seymour
Newark, Maryland
David H Wallace
Frederick, Maryland
Charles H. B. Arning
Lunenburg, Massachusetts
Glenn Clark
Hanover, Massachusetts
Virginia Rousseau
Orleans, Massachusetts
Steven R Gazzano
Wellfleet, Massachusetts
Edward Peter Walzer
Hesperia, Michigan
Timothy M. Harvey
Canton, Michigan
Delora M. Loope
Munising, Michigan
James L. Hummel
International Falls, Minnesota
Mary Graves
International Falls, Minnesota
Helen Sullinger
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Sandra Kinzer
Farmington, Minnesota
Beth Martin
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Thomas W. Griffiths
Clinton, Missouri
B. Riley McClelland
West Glacier, Montana
Karen P Wade
Fortine, Montana
Dennis F Divoky
West Glacier, Montana
Robert d Dinnagan
Livingston, Montana
Gary G. Brandow
Columbia Falls, Montana
Jack Potter
Columbia Falls, Montana
Tom Habecker
Bozeman, Montana
Patricia M. Corry, Ph.D.
Helena, Montana
James D Swed
Bozeman, Montana
Mary Ann Dowd-Sussman
Ennis, Montana
Warren Hill
Omaha, Nebraska
Edward D Carlin Sr
Omaha, Nebraska
Kevin D. McMurry
Lincoln, Nebraska
Mary E. Elms
Henderson, Nevada
John and Kitty Ritenour
Boulder City, Nevada
Eileen Loughran
Las Vegas, Nevada
Kenneth Weber
Kingston, New Hampshire
Terrence D. Moore
Shamong, New Jersey
Olav V. Olsen
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Cherry Payne
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Anne C. Cully, Ph.D.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Walter J Chavez
Placitas, New Mexico
Vito Spinale
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Dawn Foy
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Jackie Gonzales
Albany, New York
Maria Abonnel
Cortlandt Manor, New York
Jack Ramsden
Syracuse, New York
Patrick J. McCabe
Caledonia, New York
S. Joseph H. Finan
Greenwich, New York
Barry T. Sullivan
Cape May, New Jersey
Sharon Paris
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Courtney Hotchkiss
Raleigh, North Carolina
Daniel W. Brown
Weaverville, North Carolina
James T. Burnett
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Peter White
Carrboro, North Carolina
Cynthia M. Hilda
Manns Harbor, North Carolina
Steven Harrison
Hendersonville, North Carolina
Nancy K Dagley
Marshall, North Carolina
Dawn Martin
Charlotte, North Carolina
Dan R Moses
New Bern, North Carolina
Terry Lynne McElrath
Black Mountain, North Carolina
William J Carroll
Hudson, Ohio
Emily Thompson
Dayton, Ohio
Eric Shane Gottlieb
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Daniel J. Jenner
Grove, Oklahoma
Daniel M O'Brien
Central Point, Oregon
George E. Buckingham
Chiloquin, Oregon
B. William Henry
Eugene, Oregon
Kristan Briggle Sias
Portland, Oregon
Donna Williams
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Robert R. Martin
Dunbar, Pennsylvania
David Forney
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
David Hollenberg
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
William Sanders
Birdsboro, Pennsylvania
Steven Simister
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
William Strain
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
William J. Halainen
Milford, Pennsylvania
John Richard Erisman
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
David Scott Hartwig
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Claudia L Galagan
Warwick, Rhode Island
John N. Tucker
Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina
Cathleen J. Cook
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Randi Sue Bry Smith
Spearfish, South Dakota
James Groton, Jr.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Kent Cave
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Warren E Bielenberg
Maryville, Tennessee
Stephen Kemp
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Fred J Fagergren
Santa Clara, Utah
James Brandi
Salt Lake City, Utah
Nicholas Eason
Moab, Utah
Luke E. Dalton
Ogden, Utah
Tom Haraden
Castle Valley, Utah
Cordell J. Roy
South Jordan, Utah
Larry Thomas
Moab, Utah
Robert G Burns
Orem, Utah
Kathryn Eileen Tustanowski
Moab, Utah
Abigail B. Miller
Shelburne, Vermont
Jane M. Sundberg
Yorktown, Virginia
Carol D. Shull
Arlington, Virginia
Gordon V. Gay
Winchester, Virginia
Philip A. Selleck
Falls Church, Virginia
John J Reynolds
Crozet, Virginia
Russ Ludwick
Luray, Virginia
Scott Emerson Tilley
Maidens, Virginia
Larry Lee Hakel
Luray, Virginia
Denis P. Galvin
Mc Lean, Virginia
Michael K. Johnson
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Sam Weddle
Front Royal, Virginia
Marcia Keener
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Bruce MacDougal
Alexandria, Virginia
James Zinck
Hardy, Virginia
Charles W. Kirby, PhD
Leesburg, Virginia
James Michael Greenfield
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Thomas W. Sweeney
Lynchburg, Virginia
Elizabeth Snyder
Williamsburg, Virginia
Andrew T. Ringgold
Palmyra, Virginia
John E. Hunter
Lovettsville, Virginia
Karen Gail Rehm
Williamsburg, Virginia
Michael Piraino
Bainbridge Island, Washington
Rick Mossman
Mount Vernon, Washington
Denny Huffman
Ridgefield, Washington
Gretchen Luxenberg
Freeland, Washington
Gilbert E. Blinn
Eastsound, Washington
Robert Valen
Grand Coulee, Washington
Laura M. Rotegard
Indianola, Washington
Gary T Cummins
Port Townsend, Washington
Keith B. Dunbar
Kirkland, Washington
Carl S. Christensen
Carlsborg, Washington
Gene and Lizbeth Casey
Ashford, Washington
Ronald G. Warfield
Eatonville, Washington
Michael Gurling
Olympia, Washington
Stephen W. Hastings
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
Emilee Martell
Somerset, Wisconsin
Joan Anzelmo
Jackson, Wyoming
Mark J. Kelleher
Jackson, Wyoming