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Elizabeth Warren: I Will Halt All Oil, Gas Drilling on Public Lands, Offshore on Day One of Presidency 

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 10: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during the North American Building Trades Unions Conference at the Washington Hilton April 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Many Democrat presidential hopefuls attended the conference in hopes of drawing the labor vote. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images
PENNY STARR

Presidential hopeful and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) pledges to stop all oil and gas production on federal lands and offshore on her first day in office if she is elected.

Warren said she would place “total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”

Warren made the pledge as part of what the Daily Beast reported was a “public-lands policy rollout” in an op-ed published ahead of trips to South Carolina, Colorado, and Utah.

Warren said public “lands under threat” from President Donald Trump’s energy policies.

“We must not allow corporations to pillage our public lands and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess,” Warren wrote in a Medium post. “All of us—local communities and tribes, hunters and anglers, ranchers and weekend backpackers—must work together to manage and protect our shared heritage.”

But Warren is open to using the land that belongs to the American people to promote so-called green energy.

“In addition [to] ending offshore drilling, Warren on Monday outlined a set of public-land proposals with a goal of achieving 10-percent electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands,” the Daily Beast reported.

Warren said she would “use my authorities under the Antiquities Act to restore protections to both monuments and any other national monuments targeted by this administration,” referring to Trump’s policies to allow more access to the public lands for recreation, ranching, and domestic energy production.

Warren implied she would support taking away entry fees, which help maintain national parks. 

“There’s no better illustration of how backwards our public lands strategy is than the fact that today, we hand over drilling rights to fossil fuel companies for practically no money at all—and then turn around and charge families who make the minimum wage more than a day’s pay to access our parks,” Warren wrote.

But according to the National Park Service:

Out of the 419 units in the National Park Service (NPS), 112 parks charge an entrance fee. The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) allows the NPS to collect and retain revenue and requires that fee revenue be used to enhance the visitor experience. At least 80 percent of the money stays in the park where it is collected, and the other 20 percent is used to benefit parks that do not collect fees.

Trump’s policies have led to record profits and production of oil and natural gas in the United States.

“The Interior Department last year set an all-time record for oil and gas lease sales on federal lands, generating more than $1.1 billion, almost triple the previous record from 2008,” the Houston Chronicle reported in February.

“More than 1.5 million acres of land were leased for drilling last year alone,” the Chronicle reported.

“With a bold, new approach to energy development, and a president who recognizes that conventional wisdom is meant to be challenged, we are starting to see what a great America looks like,” then-acting Interior Secretary and now Secretary David Bernhardt, said in a statement.

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