Yesterday President Trump initiated the largest reduction of publicly protected lands in U.S. history. This is a sad, destructive departure from the policies of many Republican presidents including Teddy Roosevelt, an ardent conservationist who used his executive authority to protect millions of acres of public land, and Richard Nixon, who established the Environmental Protection Agency. Roosevelt worked to protect average Americans from trusts and corporate exploitation, and Nixon was responding to environmental crises like smog enveloping our cities and toxic waste polluting our waterways.

Let's be clear about who wanted to get rid of the protections on this public land in Utah. It certainly was not the thousands of people protesting the reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Salt Lake City and across Utah. It was not the Ute Indian Tribe, Hopi, Navajo, Ute Mountain Ute, or Zuni Pueblo who are filing suit in federal court to protect the 1.1 million acres at Bears Ears that Trump is threatening, or other groups seeking to protect the 800,000 acres of Grand Staircase-Escalante. It was not the scientists, environmentalists, and activists who view Trump's decision as a disaster. Instead, it was the corporate boards of directors, investors, shareholders, and lobbyists employed by the oil, coal, and natural gas giants who have had the ear of both Congress and the President. Our opposition to Trump's decision is not about right and left. It is about right and wrong.

I introduced the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (H.R. 1227) to bring an end to the destructive fossil fuel extraction that has continued unabated across the United States even in the face of climate disaster. Like millions of Americans, I have a vision for a clean energy economy that promotes energy independence, climate resilience, and respect for our planet. Recent policies, whether the reduction of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, the proposed opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, or any other number of decisions regarding public lands are taking our country in the wrong direction. We cannot give up or give in. It is up to us to make our voices heard, to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035, to end the billions of dollars in federal fossil fuel subsidies, and to ensure that our government serves people, not the profits of the fossil fuel industry.

The OFF Act is the boldest climate legislation ever introduced in Congress

The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (H.R. 3671) ends the tax giveaways to the fossil fuel industry and provides training and support to workers transitioning from a fossil fuel to clean energy economy. It pledges a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2035, with an interim benchmark of 80% renewables by 2027. Add your name and be a citizen co-sponsor.