Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Trump administration signals support for bipartisan compromise to fix crumbling national parks

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is signaling he would likely support a bipartisan compromise House bill to pay for billions of dollars of repairs and maintenance in national parks. Last month, Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., introduced legislation to pay for repairs with money the government collects from the development of oil, natural gas, wind, and solar energy on public lands. The introduction of the bill is significant because Bishop and Grijalva, who usually spar on public lands issues, agreed to a compromise that is similar to a Trump administration proposal to fund the Interior Department’s $16 billion maintenance backlog. Zinke had proposed creating a new Public Lands Infrastructure Fund of up to $18 billion over 10 years for maintenance and improvements in national parks, wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Indian Education schools. The proposal earned bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, as members were eager to see a funding mechanism to fix pipeline leaks, broken bathrooms, and potholed roads at America's national parks...MORE

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