The Interior Department has once again quietly canceled important public lands protection policies, this time focusing on mitigation and climate change in a new Secretarial Order which was issued on December 22, 2017.
The order rescinds three Interior Department/Bureau of Land Management mitigation policies and one Interior Department climate policy, all which took years to create, replacing the mitigation related policies with a directive to reissue and revise an old 2008 mitigation policy that was significantly less detailed, all in a mere 30 days.
In response to the order, The Wilderness Society issued the following statement from Assistant Director of Energy and Climate, Alex Daue:
“We urge DOI to put these common-sense policies back in place and focus any potential changes on ways to strengthen, not weaken them. These smart mitigation policies accelerate responsible infrastructure permitting and protect our clean air and water and wildlife habitat. Eliminating them will decrease permitting efficiency, increase legal challenges, and damage our public lands.”