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Romney energy plan: drill our national parks

A hiker takes a break on the shore of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park Tuesday, June 1, 2004.
A hiker takes a break on the shore of Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park Tuesday, June 1, 2004.(AP Photo/Mark A. Duncan)

Mitt Romney released his energy plan last week, and it’s filled with disturbing proposals that would jeopardize public lands. It specifically says: 

“States will be empowered to establish processes to oversee the development and production of all forms of energy on federal lands within their borders, excluding only lands specially designated off-limits”

This policy would open up national parks, national forests, state parks and state forests to oil companies for drilling. In order to satisfy his big oil donors, Romney would jeopardize a national pastime that is open to EVERYONE.  Romney thinks it’s OK to stomp all over the hard work of preservationists like the great Theodore Roosevelt. 

Roosevelt, one of the first presidents to make conservation a national issue, created five national parks, 150 national forests, four national game preserves and 18 national monuments. If Roosevelt were alive today, I wonder what he would think of Mitt Romney opening up our national parks for drilling?

I don’t think Romney understands how important our public lands are to the country. Romney is a rich businessman. He’s been a rich businessman most of his life. I think he views our lands and resources as dollars to be made.

Mitt Romney’s privileged upbringing has certainly jaded his perspective on how important public lands are to the people of the United States. Romney recently said:

“I don’t know what the purpose is” of public lands… “Unless there’s a valid, legitimate and compelling public purpose, I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land,”

Let’s explain to Mr. Romney the purpose and importance of our public lands. It’s all about recreation, hiking, skiing, rafting, climbing, mountaineering, biking, hunting, fishing, and all the other outdoor activities I’m missing. It’s not like you can buy your own personal 14,000 foot peak in Colorado to go hike.

Our public lands make everyone rich. Not Mitt Romney rich, but if you are less fortunate than others, you can drive a couple of hours into the wilderness and all of the sudden you have more than  Romney ever will.

Mitt Romney’s view on our public lands is dangerous, and the fact that he is willing to sell off our lands to oil companies to turn a profit is more than disturbing.