Just in from the Terrible Ideas Dept.: Donald Trump would like to open up our National Parks to oil drilling.
Which is stupid for approximately 2,000 reasons. For the sake of time, though, let's cull it down to five.
There’s an oil surplus.
It looks like the oil surplus will extend well into this year, and given that there are ample reserves in places like North Dakota, where no one wants to live, it’d be wiser to tap those before ever considering the National Parks and Forests.
Actually, it’d be wiser to invest in renewables, which are not only becoming cheaper, they’re also safer and will create tons of jobs into perpetuity.
Renewables like solar and wind are coming down in price. Blame China. Blame the UAE. Blame Africa. Then blame yourself later when you realize that you’ve missed out on this investment opportunity. It’s abundant, it’s safe and it’s already employing more people than fossil fuels.
Oil companies are notoriously haphazard at protecting the environment.
Deepwater Horizon. Exxon Valdez. Amoco Adiz. And those are just the oil spills. We could go on, but the gist is that mining natural resources is hard on the earth even when it’s done with the utmost probity, which isn’t exactly big oil's bailiwick. Our National Parks are an asset if they remain intact because of their diversity: diverse ecosystems are resilient. Damaging them would diminish their strength for generations to come.
National Parks rake in money on their own.
Congress just unanimously passed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact, which shows that nature pays for itself in tourism, gear, and clothing to the tune of $646B annually.
Nature actually promotes good health, and there’s no price tag on that.
Going into the woods stimulates your immune system, reduces stress and will literally make you happier. It’s science.