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Press Release

Committee Demands Answers from CEQ Regarding 30x30 Initiative Funding

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Subcommittee on Federal Lands Chairman Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Chair Brenda Mallory, seeking further information on the use of 30x30 initiative funds after CEQ failed to comply with the committee's initial oversight requests. In part, the members wrote:

"As you are aware, on April 11, 2022, CEQ announced the '$1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge,' purportedly aimed at leveraging federal dollars with unspecified non-federal contributions to advance the 30 x 30 Initiative. The 30 x 30 Initiative is an ill-considered and deliberately vague attempt to preserve 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030. Despite the administration’s efforts to reinvent the 30 x 30 Initiative, CEQ has repeatedly failed to clearly define the metrics used to satisfy the 30 percent goal. Therefore, the Committee seeks to understand the parameters CEQ will use to monitor the implementation of the Challenge and the 30 x 30 Initiative as a result...

"Despite repeated requests for information, including the Initial Committee Letter, numerous questions regarding the Challenge and 30 x 30 Initiative remained unanswered. For example, CEQ failed to provide the statutory authorizations CEQ relied upon to facilitate the initial $440 million expenditure, the sources of federal funds that will support the 30 x 30 Initiative, and a detail of how the funds will be expended. Additionally, CEQ failed to provide the criteria upon which the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) would rely to disburse grant money. Despite Republican staff requests for copies of the operating procedures that the federal agencies and NFWF would employ in this process, CEQ failed to provide any additional information. Likewise, and as previously stated, CEQ never fulfilled its obligation to the American public by providing the information requested in the Initial Committee Letter."

Read the full letter here, and the committee's initial, unanswered request here.


The Biden administration's 30x30 initiative is a proposal that would put 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters under strict environmental regulations by 2030. Details on exactly what these guidelines would entail remain unanswered, despite numerous requests for more information from both Congress and various stakeholders for the past three years. The administration has repeatedly cited the most restrictive land use designations, including national monuments and wilderness areas, as consistent with the 30x30 goal while failing to provide even the most basic baseline metrics for the initiative. 

On April 11, 2022, CEQ announced a "$1 billion America the Beautiful Challenge" to further President Joe Biden’s 30x30 agenda. Nearly two years later, the administration has failed to provide any transparency about how funding will be allocated or how projects are selected. Despite the administration advertising this slush fund as containing $1 billion, subsequent briefings revealed the administration only identified $440 million for this fund. To date, the administration has failed to answer where the remaining hundreds of millions of dollars for this slush fund will come from, including whether further taxpayer resources will be put towards the vague and unscientific 30x30 agenda.