Today, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is visiting Bears Ears National Monument in Utah to hear testimony from tribal leaders on the monument’s future. Haaland’s trip comes as the American Petroleum Institute (API) ramps up efforts to convince anyone who will listen that it is serious about addressing the climate crisis — despite its decades long record to the contrary. Bears Ears sits upon sacred and pristine land that API would rather make available for exploitation than preserve. 

“Less than two weeks ago, the American Petroleum Institute claimed it wanted to help the Biden administration meet the challenge of ‘ushering in a lower-carbon future.’ With Secretary Haaland visiting Bears Ears today, API has a choice: will it reverse course and support preserving this important land, or will it continue fighting to exploit a sacred national monument and line the pockets of wealthy oil and gas executives?” said Kyle Herring, president of Accountable.US. 

API strongly supported the Trump administration’s reductions of national monuments — what amounted to the largest reduction of public lands protections in U.S. history. The group even called the Antiquities Act, a law that protects public lands and vital cultural resources, a “threat to balanced management.” API has since hired a former Trump aide who worked directly on national monument reductions. 

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