Washington, DC — Earlier this week, the Department of the Interior told a federal judge that it would restart the leasing process of public lands to oil and gas companies. In response, Mary Kaszynski, Vet Voice Foundation’s Director of Government Relations, released the following statement:
“We have an antiquated, broken system for issuing leases for fossil fuel extraction on our public lands. By design, the current system lines the pockets of fossil fuel executives while shortchanging local communities and taxpayers.
“Rather than restarting this outdated program, we call on the Biden administration to work with Congress to protect our public lands and waterways from Big Oil.
Taking concrete steps such as ending non-competitive leasing, updating outdated bonding requirements, and ending the leasing of lands unlikely to result in oil and gas development will result not only in generating revenue for the owners of our public lands — us — the American people, but will also ensure these wildspaces are protected for generations to come.
Veterans and military families have long-championed environmental stewardship, particularly related to our nation’s public lands. We understand the importance these spaces serve as spots of healing and solemnity; reunion and reflection — and we understand our responsibility to protect them for future generations."