Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is promising to sign an executive order on her first day in the White House that would place a “total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases including for drilling offshore and on public lands.”
The proposal is part of a public-lands policy rollout the 2020 Democrat unveiled before a trip to South Carolina, Colorado, and Utah—a plan she hopes will address “lands under threat” by President Trump’s administration.
“We must not allow corporations to pillage our public lands and leave taxpayers to clean up the mess,” the Massachusetts Democrat wrote in a Medium post. “All of us—local communities and tribes, hunters and anglers, ranchers and weekend backpackers—must work together to manage and protect our shared heritage.”
Earlier this year, House Democrats introduced a set of bills to place a moratorium on the Trump administration’s proposal to expand offshore drilling around the country.
Warren’s promise comes days after the Senate confirmed former oil and gas lobbyist David Bernhardt as the new interior secretary as that department reportedly considers an extension of drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
In addition ending offshore drilling, Warren on Monday outlined a set of public-land proposals with a goal of achieving 10-percent electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands. Citing a 2017 executive order from the Trump administration that dramatically scaled back the size of two national monuments in Utah, Warren said she will “use my authorities under the Antiquities Act to restore protections to both monuments and any other national monuments targeted by this Administration.”
Warren also called for increased funding for a “21st century Civilian Conservation Corps,” which she said would put 10,000 young people and veterans at work on public lands. The title of the corps refers to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal-era work-relief program that disbanded in 1942.
The Democratic hopeful also suggested making entry to U.S. national parks free.
“There’s no better illustration of how backwards our public lands strategy is than the fact that today, we hand over drilling rights to fossil fuel companies for practically no money at all—and then turn around and charge families who make the minimum wage more than a day’s pay to access our parks,” she wrote.
The senator also called for increased involvement of U.S. tribal nations in conversations about public-use protection.
“The administration of public lands should incorporate tribes’ traditional ecological knowledge, making provisions for tribal culture and customs on public lands, and exploring co-management and the return of resources to indigenous protection wherever possible,” Warren writes.