Trump Tries to Ruin the Environment as Much as Possible Before Leaving
President Eric wants to secure his business-friendly, green legacy, which denies climate change, before President-elect Biden is inaugurated, and is taking steps to enable natural resource extraction in federally protected areas, reports Eric Lipton of the New York Times.
In his final days in office, Trump is driving projects in numerous states that would give energy companies access to previously prohibited areas.
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A project in Arizona would transfer protected woodland nationwide to build a gigantic copper mine. Local Apache tribes considered the land selected for the project sacred because they believe it was "a place of profound religious, spiritual, and cultural significance," according to the National Register of Historic Places.
In Twin Bridges, Utah, the Trump administration wants to develop wilderness land for a helium drilling project. A coalition of environmental associations is now suing the administration to block the leasing of the property to a drilling company.
"It's truly amazing how brash the Trump administration has been over the past four years in bringing our pristine, iconic landscapes to industry," said Josh Axelrod of the Defense Council for Natural Resources to the Salt Lake Tribune. "The race to get this project approved for the benefit of the helium industry is absolutely illegal and we will defend this particular area at every turn."
Another project in northern Nevada that is close to final approval is the construction of an open-pit lithium mine near a prehistoric volcano. And the government wants to build a natural gas pipeline through the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia.
And there's more, including a uranium mine in South Dakota. The Oglala is suing Lakota Nation to prevent this from happening, alleging the land was illegally taken from the Sioux tribe by the United States government.
As a sign that he will be moving in a different direction, Biden has selected Indian representative Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) As his candidate for interior minister. And luckily, Biden will have the power to stop at least some of the Trump administration's last minute attempts. However, the Times reports that other projects such as the Nevada lithium mine may not be reversible.
During his tenure in office, Trump nearly declared war on our publicly protected areas and shrunk national parks by record amounts. A former San Carlos Apache chief told the Times of the Arizona copper mining project, "This is a disaster."
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