Wilderness Society Statement on President’s State of the Union Address: Focus on Climate, Energy, Public Lands

Jan 12, 2016
Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, issued the following statement tonight in response to the President’s State of the Union addres

President Obama has done more for climate than any other president in history, and tonight he signaled his intention to align decisions about energy development on our shared lands with the nation’s climate goals to ensure America's public resources are part of the solution. We commend the administration for committing to modernize the decades-old policies governing how our public lands help power the nation and take into account the cost of fossil fuel development to our country and planet. We will continue to work to ensure policies are fair to taxpayers, advance homegrown renewable energy, provide transparency about climate consequences and protect generations to come.

Protecting parks and wild places

In the year ahead, The Wilderness Society will continue to protect treasured places in the U.S. that merit permanent protection. At the same time, we will work to repel land takeover attempts where extremists are pressuring state governments to seize public forests, refuges and parks to be privatized or auctioned for drilling, mining and logging.  We will continue to defend America’s bedrock conservation laws like the Antiquities Act and the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which needs permanent reauthorization and full funding by Congress.  We will also work to ensure that land agencies have adequate funding from Congress, and push bipartisan legislation that would bring sensible budgeting to the skyrocketing costs of fighting wildfires.

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 700,000 members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.   

Chase Huntley, Sr. Government Relations Director, Energy and Climate Policy, 202-429-7431, chuntley@tws.org

Michael Reinemer, Deputy Communications Director, Wildlands, 202-429-3949, michael_reinemer@tws.org