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Effort to Ban New National Parks Defeated in Senate

A Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox

President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN)

We are grateful that the United States Senate in a bipartisan effort this afternoon defeated Senator Lee’s (R-UT) Amendment 3023 to S.2012 - Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.  This amendment would have severely impacted the Antiquities Act put into law under Teddy Roosevelt and used by sixteen (16) presidents, eight from each party, to protect some of America’s most treasured God given wonders.

We are especially thankful for Senators Alexander (R-TN), Gardner (R-CO), Kirk (R-IL), Ayotte (R-NH), and Heitkamp (D-ND) for their bipartisan leadership.

In this 100th anniversary year of our National Parks, we should be celebrating our great public lands legacy, instead of combating the efforts of a few anti-conservation lawmakers. The Antiquities Act protects half of our national parks.  Without this law and other similar laws, we might not have protected places like the Grand Canyon or new National Monuments like Browns Canyon or Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks and even local parks and trails.  These attempts to gut the conservation statues are simply out of touch with all Americans and pro-life Christians.

Pro-life Christians, are called to be good stewards of the bounty upon which all life depends, to protect and defend the beauty and purity of the land and water, to have clean skies and fresh air for our children to enjoy. Our public lands are essential to our quality of life; they are national treasures. That's why over 100,000 of us took action calling on Congress to stand up for monuments & parks and stand up and fight against any bills that would block the creation of new parks and bills that sell off America's precious lands and waters.

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