Opinion Pieces

08.22.16

U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva on where he found his passion for the outdoors

by Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva

Oli Winward/SalzmanArt When I was a young boy in southern Arizona, the sky islands of the Santa Rita Mountains were my front yard, the cactus-strewn plains of the Sonoran Desert my backyard. My father was a vaquero, a cowboy, on the historic Canoa Ranch on the outskirts of Tucson, and I spent a lot of time with him as he worked the land. While we roamed the 4,800-acre property, my father shared his thoughts about the landscape and his reverence for the natural world. Although I didn… Continue Reading


06.17.16

The Republican crusade against public land must end

by Raul M Grijalva

Since taking over the majority in 2011, House Republicans have intensified their efforts to give away natural resources owned by the American people to a few special interests. From threatened and endangered wildlife to mineral resources to fisheries, Republicans have attempted to shift control and decision-making authority from federal agency stewards to states and localities - even those with a track record of short-sighted or irresponsible management. Of all their efforts to rewrite American… Continue Reading


04.26.16

The Grand Canyon is under siege

by President Russell Begaye, Navajo Nation, Troy Honahnie Jr. and Dawn Hubbs

Ha' ay g'am, Wi:Nyi Gacha, Ongtupqa, Tsékooh Hatsoh, Chimik'yana'kya deya'a. ("Grand Canyon" in Havasupai, Hualapai, Hopi, Navajo, and Zuni languages.) You may not recognize these words, though you know the place they describe. The crown jewel of the U.S. National Park System, a place that leaves all Americans awestruck, one of the seven natural wonders of the world: The Grand Canyon. We, the people of the Havasupai, Hopi, and Zuni tribes, the Hualapai Nation, the Navajo Nation, and othe… Continue Reading


04.13.16

Magnuson at 40

By: House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva and Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee Ranking Member Jared Huffman (D-Calif) There was a time when we didn't know any better. In 1884, English scientist Thomas Huxley wrote that "probably all the great sea-fisheries are inexhaustible; that is to say that nothing we do seriously affects the number of fish." Back then almost all fishing vessels were sail-powered, fisheries science was in its infancy, and in the north… Continue Reading


03.31.16

Rep. Raúl Grijalva: How to Prevent the Next Oil Spill

by Rep. Raúl Grijalva

A little more than six years ago, a Senate committee held a hearing about a major blowout on a rig off the coast of Australia. At that hearing, we were assured such an environmental tragedy couldn't happen in the United States. "Releases from oil and gas operations are rare," a BP executive said, "and the application of technology has enabled a dramatic reduction of releases from our industry over the last 30 years." Less than six months later, the Deepwater Horizon exploded, and the BP oil spi… Continue Reading


03.26.16

Congress should stop blocking restoration of Klamath River

by Jared Huffman and Raul Grijalva

On the cusp of commencing one of the most significant river restoration projects in history - a project that would remove four old dams that have diminished water quality and harmed salmon migrating along the mighty Klamath River - it is disappointing that some of our Republican colleagues continue to stand in the way of progress. For years, we have supported a balanced deal to resolve conflicts on the Klamath. We have supported the efforts of the states of California and Oregon, the private ow… Continue Reading


03.16.16

Fairy tales about the West are fueling public lands conflict

by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

Last month, a federal court indicted the armed extremists who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon on multiple counts of felony conspiracy, making threats and other serious charges. The property damage they caused, which is still being assessed, will likely be charged to the American taxpayers on whose behalf they claimed to be acting. While they and their patron, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, now face the prospect of years behind bars, their ideology still enjoys con… Continue Reading


01.29.16

To ensure social justice, reauthorize the Historic Preservation Fund

by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.)

In the late 1960s Congress passed sweeping legislation that fundamentally changed how we as a people engage with our neighbors, our history and our environment. In a few short years, we made overdue improvements to laws governing voting rights, civil rights, healthcare opportunities, education for young children, protection of wilderness, and fairer treatment for Native Americans. Thanks to a forward-looking Congress and effective federal leadership, every branch of the federal government played… Continue Reading


11.18.15

The G.O.P.’s Myopia on Coal

by Raúl M. Grijalva

IT'S no secret that American coal companies are facing tough times. Shares of Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal company, have lost more than 90 percent of their value over the last year, and Arch Coal has seen its shares plummet to less than $2 from about $28 a year ago (and nearly $360 in 2011). Another major producer, Alpha Natural Resources, filed for bankruptcy protection in August. While it may not qualify for life support just yet, the American coal industry is deci… Continue Reading


10.28.15

The Clean Power Plan Helps Improve Climate Quality Standards for Communities of Color

by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva

Ever since President Obama presented the final version of the Clean Power Plan in August, we've seen coal- and gas-heavy states try to stop this badly needed effort in its tracks. As recently as Oct. 13, North Dakota's attorney general told a conference panel that he's preparing a lawsuit to block the program even as the state environment agency gets ready to implement it. This highly political reaction ignores just how badly climate change is impacting Americans' health, especially in communit… Continue Reading


10.21.15

Only Congress can prevent National Wildlife Refuges’ financial death spiral

by Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva

Last week was National Wildlife Refuge Week. Considering the lack of support our refuges get from Congress, you'd be forgiven for not noticing. Over the past several years, our national wildlife refuges - homes to bald eagles, American alligators, grey wolves and too many other iconic species to name - have been systematically starved of money and staff. Many are already less open to the public than they were a few short years ago, and others are less able to protect vulnerable species than th… Continue Reading


08.28.15

Toxic Legacy: 1872 Law Lets Miners Profit on the Backs of American Taxpayers


07.21.15

We need new energy policy, now

by Rep. Raúl Grijalva

The energy world we live in now was unthinkable just a decade ago. Policy back then was shaped by talk of peak oil and fears of increased reliance on Russian or Middle East imports. President Bush used his State of the Union address that year to push Congress for legislation to reduce environmental oversight and expand domestic drilling. As I remember it, the mood in Washington could best be described as frantic. So much has changed since then. Domestic development is now booming so fast that B… Continue Reading


07.09.15

The climate change fight cannot be won with white liberal America alone

by Rep. Raúl Grijalva

The biggest issue in conservation - bigger than any mining project, power plant or climate plan - is diversity. The environmental movement needs to start looking like modern America. To continue our proud American legacy of protecting our environment, we need to adapt. A recent report released by Green 2.0 highlights the environmental movement's disconcerting lack of diversity. Unconscious bias, inadequate recruitment and poor retention all stand in the way of a more diverse environmental movem… Continue Reading


05.09.14

Gray wolves deserve continued protection: Guest opinion

by Rep. Peter DeFazio

For two years, a lone gray wolf has traversed rugged Oregon terrain and crossed invisible state borders searching for a mate. The wolf, known as OR-7, is one of only 64 gray wolves known to roam Oregon and he was the first known wolf to enter California in decades. Since he split from his fledgling northeastern Oregon pack, his 3,000 mile journey has been chronicled by local and national press and captured the attention of many in Oregon and beyond. Gray wolves like OR-7 were not always so ra… Continue Reading


11.02.12

Post-Sandy Plan for Climate Change: Protect, Prepare, Prevent

by Rep. Ed Markey

Sandy's destructive path has left a scar on our nation. Our hearts go out to the families of the more than 90 people killed, and to the Americans still struggling without power, food and water. But in Sandy's wake must be a wake-up call. Climate change is no longer some far off issue. It's at our doorstep right now. We must consider how to address the underlying factors that are fueling these extreme weather events. For a superstorm like Sandy to occur so late in the storm season, reach such f… Continue Reading


09.28.12

Deadly connection: New report on extreme weather and climate change

by Reps Ed Markey and Henry Waxman

Climate change is having a steroidal effect on extreme weather. A summer featuring the hottest July on record in the continental United States punctuated a series of costly and deadly weather events. This week, we released a new report, "Going to Extremes: Climate Change and the Increasing Risk of Weather Disasters" [PDF]. The report looks at the impacts of 2012's record-breaking heat on agriculture, wildfires, storms, and water levels. The report found the links between extreme weather and c… Continue Reading


08.27.12

The GOP's "Conventional" Wisdom

by Rep. Ed Markey

Right now, the Republican National Committee is scrambling to reschedule events at their "convention reinvention" for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan because of Tropical Storm Isaac. They have already cancelled today's events, scrapped a speech by Donald Trump and are grappling with the fact that the nation's attention may turn away from Tampa and towards Isaac. But it doesn't have to be all bad for the Republicans. Perhaps this decision will give Republicans an extra day to think about the fact that… Continue Reading


08.23.12

Climate Change SOS: Drought, Water & Energy

by Rep. Ed Markey

Next week, Mitt Romney will accept the Republican nomination in Tampa from a party increasingly dominated by global warming deniers. He will do so from a convention center in Florida that will likely be flooded by rising sea levels and extreme storms by 2030. GOP leaders are not worried about knee-deep water. That's because they are too busy trying to knee-cap clean energy. The Romney-Ryan agenda calls for a 90 percent cut to clean energy, like wind and solar, yet keeps in place $40 billion in … Continue Reading


04.18.12

Exporting Gas = Exporting Jobs

by Rep. Ed Markey

In 2011, for the first time in 62 years, the United States became a net exporter of oil products. To consumers who are watching their family budgets being crushed by rising gas prices, this is a shocking development. American drivers are increasingly unhappy that the price of gas is fueling record profits for big oil companies, sending trillions to OPEC nations like Iran, and keeping an oil market casino open for Wall Street speculators. Now, Americans learn that their oil, produced on land p… Continue Reading

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