Obama makes progress towards balancing energy and conservation. Congress not so much

Pumpjack just outside Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah. 


Protecting wilderness is important. So is meeting America’s energy needs.

Balancing these is the job of the federal government, and so far during President Obama’s 2nd term, some parts of the government are doing better than others.

In a new report, “By the Numbers,” The Wilderness Society started comparing how many acres of federal land were leased to energy development (things like oil/gas drilling and renewable energies like wind and solar) and how many acres were protected. And what we found is that Congress is laying down on the job.

From the beginning of January through the end of March, the federal government leased out nearly 279,000 acres of land. And, thanks to five new National Monument designations from President Obama, the government protected over 256,000 acres.

Congress protected zero acres.


Fortunately, there are a lot of opportunities already in front of them. Bills to protect some of the wildest places in America have already been introduced and are moving their way through the legislative process.

Places like the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Or the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana. Or Devil’s Staircase in Oregon. 

There are a lot of options already on the table for the 113th Congress to catch up to President’s Obama’s conservation progress. You can help by asking them to protect wilderness bills today. 

By The Numbers - Acres for Energy and Conservation Q1 2013