As for me, to know that with a flick of a pen the President can undo the painful and laborious work of RMPs and Forest Plans, it would not encourage me to spend volunteer hours working on them. For employees, it reminds me of my old expression about planning.. “the pay’s the same” and “if you’re not the lead mule, the scenery never changes.” But maybe that’s just me.
The WaPo has an interesting story on the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument (proposed with so far unknown boundaries).
Federal officials have started telling tribal and environmental groups to be available for a potential Grand Canyon announcement early next week, which would fall during Biden’s travel, said four of the people, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an announcement not yet public.
Who needs those pesky old maps.. or talking to people in the area in some kind of public process?
“No decisions have been made,” White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said in an email. “But I can tell you that President Biden has conserved more land and water in his first year than any president since JFK, and his climate protection record is unmatched.”
Advocates have been lobbying for a monument designation in part to honor long-standing Native American connections to the Grand Canyon. For the Havasupai Tribe, Baaj Nwaavjo means “where tribes roam,” and for the Hopi Tribe, I’tah Kukveni means “our ancestral footprints.” Other tribes, including the Hualapai, which means “people of the tall pines,” also have advocated the designation.
“This monument will show that we are beginning to protect the lands of the world,” Dianna Sue WhiteDove Uqualla, a Havasupai Tribal Council member, said in a July statement anticipating the decision and provided by a coalition of monument advocates.
This is one of those areas in which it looks like low-carbon energy sources runs into the 30×30 idea, as well as Tribal spiritual values. But we might be able to figure out who’s really holding the cards by comparing the Biden Admin position across different projects. Anyway, here’s the industry position:
Industry officials said they will explore ways to fight the decision. They said it would lock up some of the country’s highest-grade uranium deposits at a time when such fuel would be useful to the country’s clean energy and geopolitical goals. Russia provides more than 20 percent of U.S. nuclear fuel, and Congress is actively exploring new laws to boost U.S. uranium production and enrichment in response to Moscow’s war on Ukraine.
In an email, Curtis Moore, senior vice president of marketing and corporate development for Energy Fuels — one of the few uranium miners with operations in the United States — blasted the decision as making “zero sense.”
He said it contradicts several of the administration’s stated policies, including “supporting clean energy production and punishing Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”
Monument advocates have said only 1.3 percent of U.S. uranium reserves are in the Grand Canyon region.
That’s not my question.. mine would be “why do you need 1.1 mill acres to say “no uranium mining here”?” Maybe that will come out in the announcement.
The announcement would help kick off an effort to promote Biden’s climate agenda, including progress from last year’s major climate-spending law, the Inflation Reduction Act. Biden is planning a three-state tour, with other stops in New Mexico and Utah, to talk about billions of dollars of investment that the law has prompted manufacturing companies to commit to making equipment that produces cleaner energy.
Arizona has become a major focus for Biden and other Democrats as they have gained ground politically in the state. The state has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of their big spending bills, with more than $8 billion in planned investment in a giant battery factory and other manufacturing developments, especially near Phoenix, according to the advocacy group Climate Power, which tracks such announcements.
In case you’re curious, here’s what the Biden Admin Energy Department had to say about the IRA and nuclear
Momentum is building for U.S. nuclear energy and the investments and tax incentives included in IRA guarantee a commitment to nuclear energy that will continue well throughout the nation’s journey to net-zero.
Wouldn’t a serious climate policy identify areas where renewables and mining are to occur? Otherwise it seems a bit like a leaf fluttering on random political winds.
For example, Tribes and environmental advocates tried to block the Thacker Pass lithium mine, also land considered to be sacred. The Biden Admin was on the side of the mine. I guess we’re left to think that some Tribes are more important than others, some ENGOs are more important than others, or some States are more important than others based on some kind of political calculus.