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Senate to Vote on Bipartisan National Park Maintenance Bill in New Congress

Do you support the bipartisan National Parks maintenance bill?

by Countable | 12.27.18

A bipartisan bill that’d use royalties from existing energy development on public lands to fund the National Park Service’s nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog will move ahead early in the new Congress, after senators tried and failed to pass it unanimously last week.

Amid a flurry of bills being passed by unanimous consent and voice votes on the Senate floor, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) asked for legislation known as the Restore Our Parks Act to be among the bills passed. But Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), one of the four senators to oppose the bill when it passed the Energy & Natural Resources Committee on a 19-4 vote, objected to the bill passing the Senate unanimously ― leaving Gardner “pretty doggone upset”.

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) told reporters that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed to schedule floor time for the bill in January.

What does the bill do?

  • The Restore Our Parks Act would establish and fund a National Park Service Legacy Restoration Fund, which would go to repairs, maintenance, facilities improvements, and improving transportation infrastructure on NPS lands.
  • It’d draw on royalties paid to the federal government from oil, gas, coal, or alternative or renewable energy development on federal lands (like those managed by the Bureau of Land Management or Forest Service) and in federal waters.
  • Up to half of the revenues (up to $1.3 billion) could be used for National Park maintenance in any given fiscal year.

The National Park Service is massive: according to data from USAFacts it’s grown from 83.4 million acres in 1997 to more than 85 million acres in 2017 ― an area larger than New Mexico (America’s fifth largest state).

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / HaizhanZheng)

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Written by Countable

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(127)
  • Chickie
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    I wholeheartedly support this legislation. However, we should absolutely NOT allow pipelines to mar the landscapes of our National Parks. We should absolutely NOT allow wildlife hunting, especially endangered species, to be permitted in our National Parks. We should absolutely NOT continue to subsidize or promote the use of coal. There is NO such thing as clean coal. The phrase, ‘clean coal’, an oxymoron; coal is not, never was, never will be, clean.

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  • M
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Save our National resources!

    Like (12)
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  • JTJ
    Voted Oppose
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Close all the parks until we build the wall and balance the budget.

    Like (7)
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  • KansasTamale
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    National Park money MUST ONLY BE USED FOR NATIONAL PARK UPKEEP. IF MORE IS NEEDED CONGRESS MUST ALLOCATE IT. DO NOT STEAL MONEY FROM THE IMPORTANT THINGS FOR ANYTHING ELSE. DO NOT ALLIW ANYMORE NATIONAL PARK KAND TO BE EXPLOITED.

    Like (20)
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  • Sam
    12/27/2018
    ···

    This looks like a no brainer. I Have visited several national monuments recently and they are in desperate need of repair.

    Like (4)
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  • RAN
    Voted Oppose
    12/27/2018
    ···

    5 billion needed for wall firat

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  • Chris
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Please support this legislation.

    Like (10)
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  • Chris
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    We need to maintain and protect our national parks since they are a national treasure in this beautiful country.

    Like (10)
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  • James
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Please keep our National parks safe from the capitalist

    Like (10)
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  • Dara
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Stop being cheap people. Fund our parks.

    Like (8)
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  • Nancy
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    With the world deteriorating as it is,saving and maintaining our national parks should be among the top considerations.

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  • Wayne
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    As someone who frequents National Parks (last year I hiked 2,000 miles through five National Parks over the Continental Divide) I am all too familiar with how much maintenance needs to be done on their roads, trails, bridges, you name it! The National Parks get more and more visitors every year, and the risk of injury and death is always increasing. I’ve seen plenty of people getting their cars stuck, or getting ankles injured, or otherwise find themselves in all manner of unexpected pickles because the online references to trails and roads are outdated, and the roads are in worse shape than anyone’s prepared for. I’m lucky I have a 4-wheel drive truck to get around most of those headaches, but something should really be done for everyone else.

    Like (6)
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  • Thelma
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    More national parks, less raping of our environment.

    Like (6)
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  • Leslie
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    WITH NO RIDERS ATTACHED TO THE BILL! WHY IS THERE SO MUCH MONEY AVAILABLE & NONE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE AND MEDICAID? YOU LYING SACKS OF SHIT ARE ON MY LAST NERVE.

    Like (5)
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  • Teachon
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Please support our National Parks! My childhood is full of memories from many National Parks.

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  • Matias
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Our National Parks are America's treasures and everything should be done to protect them and keep them pristine.

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  • Chris-Breseman
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Protect our national parks.

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  • John
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    Save and maintain our National Parks!

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  • Lionman
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    I’d rather get private corporations out of public park lands, but if we’re not doing that we should re-invest the money in the parks they’re destroying.

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  • Catharine
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    US National Parks are the jewels of our nation. Millions from US and other lands come visit our unique places and contribute to the economy. We need to protect our precious lands

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  • Ed
    Voted Support
    12/27/2018
    ···

    America’s best idea!

    Like (4)
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