Nada Culver, The Wilderness Society - Oil and Gas Leases in New Mexico

Nada Culver, The Wilderness Society
Oil and Gas Leases in New Mexico


A quick dictionary definition of the word “perverse:” “the opposite of what is good and right.”

As used in a sentence:  President Trump’s policies on the environment are perverse. They are based on the opposite of environmental protection.  Instead of making every proposed project file an Environmental Impact Statement, Trump and his Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke want to enforce an Economic Impact Statement on every proposed form of legal or administrative protection of nature.

It’s all a matter of perspective.  Before Trump, you could only make money on Federal lands if doing so were compatible with protecting the environment.  After Trump, it will be the reverse, you can only protect the environment if doing so doesn’t get in the way of some rich people getting richer.

This is from Zinke’s Secretarial Order 3349 for Department of the Interior staff to “review all existing regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions…that potentially burden the development or use of domestically produced energy resources.”

By the way, when Zinke says, “energy resources,” he does not mean the kind that don’t increase climate change.  He has little interest in wind or solar power.  The kinds of regs and policies he wants to destroy are the ones that control fossil fuels, like coal, for which he is reopening lease opportunities, or oil and gas, for which he’s rolled back the Obama-era methane rules. 

Which means, by the way, that my home state of New Mexico will continue to be instantly identifiable from space because the Western Hemisphere’s greatest plume of methane gas will continue to chew its way from Northwest NM through Earth’s upper atmosphere.

What’s that word again? “Perverse, the opposite of what is good and right.”



Nada Culver is Senior Counsel and Director of the BLM Action Center at The Wilderness Society.  Nada provides technical advice and support to citizens and conservation groups working to protect America’s public lands. The BLM Action Center, located in Denver, Colorado, assists and encourages people to participate in land use planning processes and management decisions, including those addressing transmission, renewable energy, fossil fuel development and protection of wilderness. The BLM Action Center also seeks to influence national policy on management of our federal public lands.



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