Land Grab Congressman Now Wants Trump to Abolish National Monuments

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a fierce anti-public lands Republican in Utah, is urging President-elect Donald Trump to abolish national monuments created by both Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. More than 270 million acres of American land and waters are potentially at risk—an area two and half times the size of California.

The action would be unprecedented. No president in history has undone the creation of a national monument by a predecessor.

Among the lands that could lose protection are the magnificent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, the recently-designated Kathadin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine (a gift of private land), and national monuments in the Sonoran Desert, Organ Mountains of New Mexico and San Gabriel Mountains of California.

Where would these lands go if Rep. Bishop gets his way? A clue might come from where the congressman, who is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, gets his campaign contributions.

Since 1999, Bishop has accepted $452,610 from oil, gas and coal interests. More than 10 percent of that has come from the coal-friendly National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which has been leading the fight against the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. ExxonMobil, Chevron, Tesoro and bankrupt Arch Coal round out his top-five contributors.

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