Fifteen Republican governors vow to block Biden’s environmental plans on Earth Day

GOP group takes particular aim at White House executive order on land and water conservation

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Thursday 22 April 2021 19:53 BST
Greta Thunberg calls US climate policy ‘disgrace’
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Fifteen Republican governors have vowed to block President Joe Biden’s environmental plans on Earth Day.

The group in a joint letter challenged the president to give them exact details on his executive order on climate change, which they claim would harm their economies.

Their letter came as the president hosted a virtual climate summit for 40 world leaders from the White House, aimed at urgently tackling climate change.

At the summit, the president pledged to cut US green house emissions in half by 2030 with the goal of being a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.

Now the GOP governors have taken aim at Mr Biden’s January executive order on climate change, and his promise to conserve at least 30 per cent of US lands and waters by 2030.

The group, which includes many governors of western states, says it opposes any extra government restrictions of land use.

“Some of us govern western states with massive amounts of lands in the categories mentioned (in the order) or other federal designations that should be considered as ‘conserved’,” the letter states.

“We are deeply concerned about any effort to enlarge the federal estate or further restrict the use of public lands in our states.”

The letter adds that use policies for federal land falls under the jurisdiction of Congress not the president, and called Mr Biden’s order an “overreach of executive authority” and a violation of state rights.

Governors who signed the letter include Greg Abbott of Texas, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

It contained 12 questions about Mr Biden’s “30x30” plan including asking who will manage it, how the lands in the program will be selected, compensation and funding.

“We encourage your Administration to focus on better management of the lands the federal government already controls and to be more proactive in working with the states,” it added.

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