Should the U.S. Fund National Parks by Allowing Oil Drilling?

Yellowstone River Wyomingriver Yellowstone National Park
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Oldest National Park: Yellowstone National Park. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant created the world's first national park in the pristine wilderness straddling the Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho territories (which weren't states yet!).

This controversial budget proposal will interest every American who loves the national parks.

Tucked away in the federal budget for fiscal 2019 is a proposal to fund our national parks’ infrastructure backlog.

Three cheers? Hold on. Before you start celebrating at the notion that the backlog of $11+ billion in needed national parks repairs may actually be tackled, note that the necessary revenue would come from allowing oil companies to lease the right to drill on federal land.

AMERICA’S PARKLAND IS UNDERFUNDED

As Budget Travel reported recently in National Parks in Peril, our national parks are seriously underfunded and facing an array of infrastructure needs, threats from climate change, and the removal of protections for some wildlife, including wolves, grizzlies, and bison.

IS DRILLING A SOLUTION?

Now, the administration proposes to cut more than 2,000 jobs from the National Park Service at a time when the parks are seeing record attendance each year. Perhaps even more concerning, the 2019 budget proposal would establish the Public Lands Infrastructure Fund, which would make park-infrastructure funding dependent on revenues derived from leases to oil companies allowing them to drill on federal land.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We want to hear from you: Do you support the administration’s proposal to fund the national parks using revenue from oil drilling on federal land?

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