Policy Update Jun 10, 2015

Position on H.R. 1289, H.R. 2295, and H.R. 2647

NPCA submitted the following positions on legislation considered by the House Natural Resources Committee on June 10-11, 2015.

H.R. 1289: John Muir National Historic Site Expansion Act – NPCA supports this legislation that would add approximately 44 acres to the John Muir National Historic site. John Muir is one of the country’s most famous and influential naturalist who was involved with the creation of Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Kings Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Mt. Rainier National Parks. John Muir also contributed to the idea that led to the creation of the National Park Service.

H.R. 2295: National Energy Security Corridors Act – NPCA opposes this legislation which would, in part, amend the Mineral Leasing Act to strip the requirement for Congressional authorization when constructing a natural gas pipeline across National Park Service land. The Mineral Leasing Act provides a logical and effective path for oil and gas pipeline easements as it is currently written. The threat of rupture and explosion posed by natural gas pipelines requires that their construction through our most prized public lands require Congressional approval.

H.R. 2647: Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2015 – NPCA opposes this legislation which would directly affect the nation’s most valuable national forests, including those adjacent to some of our most iconic National Parks, which ecologically depend on adjacent natural lands. H.R. 2647 undermines the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) through an expansion of Categorical Exclusion (CE) opportunities—undermining transparent decision making. Further, the bill limits public access to the courts and judicial review; this would potentially allow poorly conceived projects to proceed without accountability. Not only does this bill incentivize natural resource extraction rather than restoration, but it further undermines existing forest service planning and authorities.