Want a good example of political hypocrisy and blatant favoritism? The government shutdown mandates that all national parks and monuments be closed to visitors – however the oil and gas industry has been allowed to waltz right in. While veterans and other citizens are forced to “break in” to national parks paid for with their own tax dollars, it seems that our public lands are always open for business with the fossil fuel industry – government shutdown or not.
Oil Pump photo from Shutterstock
The double standard currently enjoyed by the oil and gas industries has many Americans outraged, and a progressive activist group has started an online petition telling the government that if the shutdown blocks citizens from the land, the oil and gas industry should be blocked as well. (Just imagine how fast the shutdown would be resolved if that happened!)
“Our federal lands are being mined, drilled, logged and just about everything else you can name, but because of the Republicans’ reckless and irresponsible shutdown of the federal government, we can’t be there to hike or camp, and our park rangers can’t be there to respond to emergencies,” the petition reads. “We need to get our priorities straight. “Fossil fuel and logging companies shouldn’t have special access to our federal lands while rangers, hikers and the rest of us are locked out,” the petition says.
Of course one could argue that these industries should never have gained access to these lands, which are specifically set aside for conservation of nature, in the first place.
The petition, part of CREDO’s Mobilize project, already had more than 75,000 signatures as of Wednesday. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) agrees with the thousands who have added their name to the document.
“The lack of oversight of these potentially hazardous activities greatly concerns me, especially because of the scarcity of manpower to respond to emergencies, pollution issues or other rapid response needs,” Grijalva wrote in a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.