Podesta: We Must Strengthen Our National Parks

Former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta moderates as Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and US Energy Secretary Steven Chu deliver remarks on the state of energy, February 28, 2012 during the US Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington, DC. 
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Clare Foran
Oct. 31, 2013, 5:32 a.m.

John Podesta, chair­man of the left-lean­ing Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress, penned an op-ed for Politico on Thursday that blames the GOP for caus­ing a gov­ern­ment shut­down and clos­ing off ac­cess to na­tion­al parks.

The column high­lights the eco­nom­ic costs of park clos­ures and lays out a series of re­com­mend­a­tions for Con­gress and the ex­ec­ut­ive branch to strengthen Amer­ica’s sys­tem of na­tion­al parks.

Podesta urges Con­gress to keep fund­ing levels for na­tion­al park staff fully au­thor­ized dur­ing on­go­ing budget ne­go­ti­ations and re­com­mends di­vert­ing a per­cent­age of oil and gas rev­en­ues to the Land and Wa­ter Con­ser­va­tion Fund.

He also asks the pres­id­ent to push Con­gress to ap­prove a num­ber of bills re­lated to na­tion­al parks and con­ser­va­tion and use ex­ec­ut­ive au­thor­ity to cre­ate two new na­tion­al monu­ments, one in New Mex­ico and one in the San Gab­ri­el Moun­tains of Cali­for­nia.

Podesta’s op-ed came ahead of a speech giv­en by In­teri­or Sec­ret­ary Sally Jew­ell on Thursday ad­dress­ing the im­port­ance of na­tion­al parks and the role of the In­teri­or De­part­ment in car­ry­ing out the Pres­id­ent’s cli­mate ac­tion plan.


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