by Michael dEstries
Categories: Causes, People
Tags: .

Remember those “Drill, baby, drill!” chants at the Republican convention? I hate to bring back such vile memories, but it appears that President Bush was listening. Late on November 4th, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced a Dec. 19 auction of more than 360,000 acres of oil and gas parcels alongside or within view of Arches National Park and two other redrock national parks in Utah. Needless to say, environmentalists and parks officials are outraged.

Robert Redford appeared on last night’s Rachel Maddow Show to talk about the issue and why it’s just another display of cynicism on the part of the administration.

“Bush’s environmental policies have been a disaster, but that’s no surprise when you look at the history of what he’s done since he came in,” Redford said. “So, I think he’s serious, but whether it’s going to work or not I think depends on if the public wakes up to what’s going on and how it’s going to affect their own personal interests. If you look at the Bush Administration’s cynicism — and it’s also been devious — whenever they couldn’t get a bill passed legitimately, they would go behind our backs. And when you stop and think about 30 years — 30 years of hard work to get certain protections –protections like clean water, clean air, the environmental policy act; those were acts to protect the public and the land that we claim we cherish. Well, he’s tried in his 8 years to undo just about every one of those laws.”

Redford then went on to talk about how drilling is not the solution for the future of this country. Renewable energy is now a viable alternative and even though we voted for change on November 4th, the Bush Administration is still dragging us in the opposite direction. Check out the video after the jump or read up on Redford’s blogging on the issue over on the Huffington Post.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • debbie phillips

    You need to take your camera crew to Sundance to see what Mr. Redford did
    to the pristine land in Provo canyon.
    Oh wait, he can have his, but you can’t have yours. What runs his SUV, his power, his heat to his beloved Sundance?
    I’m sure he has no comment on that.He once answered the same question as to why it was ok for him plow down half a mountain side. He “won’t respond to small minds.” ELITIST! He makes me sick.

  • Virginia Abreu de Paula

    Well, I don’t know Mr. Robert Redford. I never had the pleasure to meet him. So, I also don’t know what he has done in Prove canyon. But, what is important is that, if he did something against the nature, his eyes seems to be opened now. If I got it well, the message above, wants the right to also destroy???? That’s insane.

  • Debbie Phillips

    No, what I’m saying is, he is a hypocrite! His eyes are open all right.
    So is his wallet. He developed that whole area with multi-million dollar homes, resort, resturants and ski runs.
    And it isn’t powered by wind mills and candle light!!

  • otay

    None of you know anything about drilling footprints. If you had listened Sarah Palin would have enlightened you.

  • clinkerkid

    Couple things. First, I don’t live in Utah, and it’s not for me to tell the citizens of Utah what to do with their state. Second, I don’t really know much about drilling footprints, so I don’t know how much ugliness is going to end up there.

    And I generally don’t like environmental causes(aside from global warming/renewable energy) or care about endangered species. I particularly hate radical environmentalist groups. I also think a pipeline in ANWR is a great way to keep Caribou warm in the winter on that barren blah tundric wasteland…

    But… Have you been to Canyonlands? Or Zion? Arches? They are shocking. The kind of shocking where you can’t think straight. Utah in general is the most astounding visual paradise I’ve ever seen. I’ve been all over the US, all over Italy, to France, and some of Eastern Europe. Arizona, Colorado, California, and Nevada are all impressive, but they have nothing on Utah. That is a state you never forget once you’ve seen it in person, even if for a moment.

    I’m with environmentalists on this one. To see anything marring that landscape would really be a tragedy.

  • Local at a Loss

    I work for a technology company that is very closely associated with the Oil & Gas markets. I also live in Utah, and I wouldn’t live anywhere else! The scenery is AMAZING. Two prominent outdoor magazines just noted Utah for “the darkest skies in the lower 48″ and the “most remote spot from a paved road” in the lower 48. New drilling will ruin that. But back to my professional associations… what no one is saying is this: it’s not the immediate drilling and “liquid” deposites that the oil companies have their sights set for. They want the shale oil. In a markets-view report submitted in 2006, Shell geophysicists reported that Utah, Colorado and Wyoming contain up to 6 times more oil than all of Saudi Arabia, but that it is “locked up in shales and tar sands”. The same report also stated that “while economically feasible with PPB (price per barrel) over $110, the ecological disruption would be significant.” Essentially, shale oil requires tremendous amounts of water for extraction and processing. That water is only available in such quantities via the Green River (which runs by and through Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park). The by-products of shale processing is mercurial waste which would be dumped back into the Green River. This would destroy all fish and riparian species living downstream of any shale extraction site. Shell Oil confirmed this and stated such in their report! So, how does this relate to drilling in Canyonlands? Once oil companies like Shell gain rights and access to the land, shale exploration and extraction will begin. “Small footprint drilling” is just the excuse to gain land rights. The real damage will occur after that.

  • Pandonodrim

    Sara Palin would have told us? Told us what? How much fun it is to wave to Russians in the morning and take kids to hockey practice? I know more about energy than she does – hell I know more about EVERYTHING than she does… except hockey. And denying people their rights.

    Yes, Redford has investments in a lot of things that aren’t great for the environment, but comparing his “enterprises” to big energy is quite unfair.

    Yes we all can do more to help protect, preserve and sustain – and Redford can do a hell of a lot more. But he’s doing far more than probably anyone else on this message board (though maybe not, can’t say for sure).

    Point is, the true targets should be the energy industries who shape and make the real decisions, the ones with the real power and money. If you use a computer you are as guilty as Redford, unless you are totally decentralized with solar panels. You’re only guilty if you don’t speak out against the establishment and work towards a renewable energy grid, and all the similar changes we need.

    Hell, even solar and wind will have a detrimental effect on the environment. That’s not what it’s about. Simply living and being a part of the ecosystem has an effect no matter what you do. The question is how do we minimize the negative effects and can we convert to a sustainable way of living?

    The crime isn’t consuming and living, it’s living un-sustainably, and consuming unequally and irresponsibly.

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