News

Teddy vs. Zinke

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke wants you to think he’s just like Teddy Roosevelt. What he does about the Bears Ears will prove if he’s just blowing smoke. Throughout his career as a politician, Ryan Zinke has told anyone willing to listen that he’s cut from the same cloth as the iconic conservation pioneer, […]

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Western Values Project Calls on Senate to Press Perdue on his Troubling Record and Conflicts of Interest

Today, Western Values Project called on the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture to press Sonny Perdue on his record during his hearing to be Secretary of Agriculture. The Western Values Project — an organization that works to further the national conversation around public land use and conservation. – sent a letter to the U.S. Senate […]

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FACT CHECK: New Mexico’s new energy chief is dangerously wrong on basic science, and it could cost New Mexico taxpayers dearly

Over strong objections, Kenley McQueen was confirmed as secretary of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department on Wednesday.  During his contentious confirmation hearing, he displayed a shockingly out-of-touch view of many of the areas for which he is now responsible, something that should worry every New Mexican concerned with public lands and […]

WVP: Zinke must reject energy donors to match Roosevelt legacy

Whitefish, Mont. – Following the confirmation of Ryan Zinke as Interior Secretary, Executive Director of the Western Values Project released the following statement: “Secretary Zinke will tell anyone who is willing to listen, besides maybe his donors in the oil industry, that he’s just like conservation hero Teddy Roosevelt. Here’s what we have to say […]

Trump’s “America First” energy plan shouldn’t leave taxpayers behind

Last week, The Trump administration released its “America First Energy Plan” which, among other things, promises to expand oil and gas production on federal lands across the West. For those of us are concerned about the sweetheart deals oil companies have often gotten from drilling on public lands, this sets off some alarm bells. But if […]

How to help in 2017

With the new year, comes new challenges. We have a lot of work to do to keep our Western lands protected. We have you covered so that you can fight to keep your elected officials accountable. Over the past year, Washington tried to halt our strides time and time again. When some members of Congress […]

Historic Moab planning decision makes public lands a level playing field

Finalized today by the Bureau of Land Management, the Moab Master Leasing Plan (MLP) represents a historic achievement for the small businesses and citizens of Moab, Utah. After decades of conflict over leasing and drilling, Moab now has a detailed, comprehensive plan to guide future energy development on its public lands, one that will safeguard […]

The BLM should treat oil companies like it treats Terry Tempest Williams

The BLM recently announced that it would not issue two federal oil and gas leases purchased by the well-known conservationist Terry Tempest Williams. To justify its decision, BLM cited a requirement that federal leases be “diligently developed,” and, through her public statements, Williams had made it clear that she had no intention to actually drill […]

Wyoming Legislative Report Throws Major Shade at Public Land Takeover Agenda

Major doubts about the feasibility and viability of the public land takeover agenda were raised in a thorough – and costly – report commissioned by the Wyoming State Legislature and released to the public on October 18th. The report, which cost Wyoming taxpayers a whopping $75,000, detailed numerous obstacles to the state taking over the […]

Time for Western AGs to publicly oppose land transfer

A recently disclosed Conference of Western Attorneys General report concludes that lawsuits by states attempting to force the transfer of federal public land to states stands little chance of succeeding in the courts based on previous court cases and rulings. The reports of the analysis reveal an incredibly thorough legal repudiation of the land transfer movement’s arguments for […]

Outdoor industry CEOs back the administration’s record on public lands

An impressive group of 27 CEOs of some of the largest outdoor recreation companies sent a letter to President Obama and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell with one clear message: Thank you for promoting cleaner energy policies and protecting America’s $646-billion outdoor recreation economy! President Obama understands that access to clean and unspoiled public lands drives the […]

Congressman Bishop fails to work with the administration… and predictably blames the administration.

  Congressman Rob Bishop has repeatedly blamed the federal government for not listening to him or others about land protections and National Monuments. But it turns out that Bishop is the one not willing to communicate – and his stubbornness could force President Barack Obama into creating a National Monument to protect Bears Ears. On more […]

Bishop ignores worried constituents at his 6 town halls, calls them a “pain in the butt”

A series of town halls intended to shore up flagging support for the embattled Public Lands Initiative backfired on Congressmen Rob Bishop as constituents continued to press him over the ill-fated and divisive bill. Even as his constituents brought up serious concerns, Bishop simply wouldn’t listen to the opposing views. During the six town halls […]

Oil and gas industry still refuses to be accountable, even when NASA catches their hands in the cookie jar

In 2014, NASA found a Delaware-sized methane ‘hot spot’ hanging over the Four Corners region of the southwestern U.S. This area is also home to a high density of oil and gas development. Last week, NASA released a follow-up study, finding a direct link between oil and gas activity in the San Juan Basin and […]

Seeking: NMOGA Executive Director, questionable ethics and experience pandering to industry required

News that New Mexico Environment Secretary, Ryan Flynn has left his political appointment to potentially head an oil and gas interest group reads like a “What Not to Do” chapter out of an ethical handbook. (Update — Flynn was awarded the job as NMOGA Executive Director late on Friday, September 2nd.)  The New Mexico Oil and […]

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Fact-check: Herbert’s team wrong on the facts, and on the wrong side of Moab MLP

Utahns from across the spectrum—small business owners, local officials, conservationists, and sportsmen and sportswomen—have hailed progress on the BLM’s proposed Master Leasing Plan as a model for how to plan for energy development on public lands. Unfortunately, Gov. Gary Herbert’s is ignoring this diverse set of voices and calling for a return to the days […]

ConocoPhillips wants a pat on the back, while still wasting millions of taxpayer dollars

Recently, ConocoPhillips tooted its own horn by touting the success of its natural gas waste capture programs. While we applaud ConocoPhillips’ steps towards reducing natural gas waste, there’s an omission that is the elephant in the room— ConocoPhillips is still the largest natural gas emitter in the US. Each year, ConocoPhillips emits the equivalent of […]

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While Debt Ceiling Looms, Lawmakers Brainstorm Other Ways to Bankrupt States

This afternoon, Utah Congressman Rob Bishop’s Congressional “Federal Land Action Group” (FLAG), is holding a forum to discuss options for transferring federal lands back to state control. What the group won’t address, however, is that the idea of land transfer is hugely costly to states and taxpayers, is unpopular across the board with the public and would significantly restrict access to American public lands. At a time when […]

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Red FLAG: 8 times Rob Bishop just didn’t get when it comes to public lands

Utah Congressman Rob Bishop’s Federal Lands Action Group meets again today to discuss strategies for transferring national public lands and parks to states – a move many observers have said will force cash-strapped states to sell the lands, due to the high cost of maintenance and fire-fighting. The meeting comes hot off the heels of Congressman Bishop’s […]

FACT CHECK: Refuting industry claims about the BLM rule to combat wasted natural gas

Lobbyists for big oil companies held another press conference today to spread false and misleading claims about the impacts of the BLM’s rule to cut back on natural gas that is wasted from oil production on national public lands. Here’s another refutation of the same tired industry talking points: MYTH: Implementing the rule will cost too much […]

Bears Ears is a Monument because Rob Bishop couldn’t pass the Public Lands Initiative

 Utah politicians like Rob Bishop are whining that President Barack Obama acted unilaterally in declaring the Bears Ears area a national monument. They only have themselves to blame because they could not pass a legislative alternative. Congressman Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative was supposed to be that alternative, and Obama administration officials even told him they […]

Interior Secretary prospect Ryan Zinke’s Super PAC raises questions about ethics and self-dealing

For a man nominated to lead an agency with over 70,000 employees and a budget surpassing $20 billion, Ryan Zinke’s management resume includes some pretty questionable ethical practices that raise significant questions about his ability to manage conflicts of interest at the Department of Interior. Can the American people expect more of the same, or […]

Ken Ivory’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Year

Like his fellow Utah land-grabber Rob Bishop, 2016 was not kind to Utah state legislator and American Lands Council co-founder Ken Ivory. His $14 million taxpayer funded fantasy land-grab lawsuit has been resoundingly criticized, the organization he founded to push his land transfer agenda is hemorrhaging memberships, and the apparent Interior Secretary under President Trump […]

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