“Climate change is the single greatest threat ever faced by America’s national parks. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (Act) will provide a historic investment in the Nation’s response to that threat.
National parks are home to typically pristine environmental conditions and well-protected natural and cultural resources. As a result, parks often serve as sentinel sites where the impacts of climate change may first appear and become readily apparent and most impactful. The funding in this act will provide critical support for the National Park Service (NPS) to hire more staff to monitor and respond to the complex impacts of the changing climate and to hire additional employees in under-staffed units of the national parks throughout the country.
In addition, we are pleased that the passage of the Act includes meaningful oil and gas leasing reforms to address our Nation’s broken oil and gas leasing system. For too long, oil and gas companies have been allowed to exploit mineral resources on America’s public lands – often adjacent to national parks – with inadequate safeguards and oversight. In addition to contributing to the impacts of climate change, lax leasing policies have polluted clean air and water in or near our national parks, pollution that should have been preventable with proper oversight.
The passage of the Act gives us hope that real change is on the horizon. Important provisions, such as increasing onshore royalty rates and ending the practice of non-competitive leasing, will help protect natural and cultural resources in national parks from the impacts of nearby oil and gas development.
We applaud Congress for seizing the opportunity to pass strong clean energy and climate provisions, including the enactment of much-needed oil and gas leasing reforms. This decisive action will help protect our climate and our public lands and national parks, both now and into the future.”