June Lake California
Paul Hippauf Flickr
How is it that an oil and gas industry rolling in profits can manage to receive government subsidies and tax breaks while conservation programs that are only a small part of the federal budget are threatened with the ax as Congress attempts to balance America’s budget?
The answer is it takes money to make money. And that’s exactly what oil and gas, timber and other extractive industries have in spades. These profit-rich, polluting industries have lobbied the heck out of Washington, D.C. As a result we've seen a year full of Congressional attempts to undermine environmental and conservation laws, open pristine and protected areas to oil and gas drilling, and undercut funding to environmental programs.
Congress is also attempting to cut crucial funding for fuel efficient cars and the renewable energy industry – two programs that create jobs and would help us decrease our dependence on oil.
The current Congress is one of the most anti-wilderness Congresses we’ve seen in years.
In the months ahead you can help us fight off some of the most extreme cuts to conservation in recent history.
As Congress attempts to balance the budget, it is likely to include draconian cuts to conservation programs, despite the fact that these priceless programs help keep our most pristine wildlands intact and thus contribute billions to our economy through recreation and tourism. These are jobs that support local communities all across the country and cannot be exported.
Here’s just a sampling of what will happen if we don’t continue to push back:
- Slashed funding for national parks, monuments and forests. These places may now have to close their doors to visitors because agency staff will no longer be able to maintain them.
- Massive cuts to America’s wildlife refuge system. More than 100 wildlife refuges could be closed, eliminating outdoor education programs and severely limiting access to hunting and fishing sites.
- America’s outdoor recreation economy harmed. Our outdoor recreation industry fuels our economy to the tune of $730 billion annually, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. It also contributes more than 6.5 million jobs to local communities. This industry is dependent upon our wild lands staying wild.
- Near complete elimination of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This is one of the most effective open space, wild land, and outdoor recreation protection programs, using funds from off-shore oil and gas leases to protect special areas. But Congress is proposing to slash the fund to $90 million a year, down from the $900 million it's entitled to.
Please help us stand up to Congress, big oil and other industries who wish to exploit our lands for their personal gain. Donate today.