GOP Congressman Says Romney Would Sell National Parks

How did you spend your summer? If you’re like many, rather than spending money you don’t have visiting exotic foreign lands, you chose to leave your passport at home and visit one of the many wonders available in our very own country, our national or state parks. If Mitt Romney is elected, as one GOP Congressman claims, state and national parks could begin to disappear.

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) said in a speech to the Colorado Conservative Political Action Conference,

America, each state, the public lands were given back to the states after they were chartered. But in the West, starting with Teddy Roosevelt who had the big ideas of big forests and big national parks, they held that land. And so the next chart shows you the effect on us in the West. Just understand this is the education. The red is of course bad. We’re starved in the West for education funds because of policies that Mitt Romney sat and listened to Rob Bishop and myself explain when it came to Hobbs. He knows that if we want to reverse the trend, we’ll reverse this trend of public ownership of lands starving education. (Think Progress)

Here’s the video:

When Mitt Romney looks at national parks, he, like Congressman Pearce, sees wasted space. Instead of beauty, they see the potential for oil or coal underneath. Republicans often frame the debate as a complaint that the big, bad gubment owns land. Oh, for shame! Romney himself said, “I don’t know why the government owns so much of this land.”

Why don’t we try replacing the word “government” with “people.” How does that sound? “I don’t know why the people own so much of this land.” Then let’s talk about Mitt Romney’s energy policy, in which he proposes to sell our land to the highest bidder.

Romney denies that the national parks would be under threat but The Center for American Progress thinks that at least five parks are at risk.