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ONSHORE Act is a Public Lands Giveaway to Dirty Industry

Alaska Wilderness League ∙ Center for Biological Diversity ∙ Earthjustice ∙ Natural Resources Defense Council ∙ Sierra Club ∙ The Wilderness Society ∙ Western Watersheds Project

For Immediate Release: October 12, 2017

Media Contact:
Corey Himrod, 202-266-0426,
Taylor McKinnon, 801-300-2414, Marissa Knodel, 202-797-5235,
Anne Hawke, 202-513-6263,
Gabby Brown, 202-495-3051,
Alex Thompson, 202-429-3940,
Kelly Fuller, (928) 322-8449,

ONSHORE Act is a Public Lands Giveaway to Dirty Industry

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a hearing to discuss the Opportunity for the Nation and State to Harness Onshore Resources Act (ONSHORE Act). This Act would authorize states to issue and enforce oil and gas drilling plans and permits on public lands, essentially handing control of America’s natural legacy to a handful of states and private interests.

A coalition of 39 environmental and conservation groups issued the following statement:

“The ONSHORE Act is the latest shameless effort to sell out America’s public lands to the highest bidder, yet again putting the interests and profits of the oil and gas industry before American families’ right to protect these lands for our children and grandchildren. This bill would not only threaten fragile habitats and rare wildlife species, it would also purposefully remove the public’s seat at the table when decisions are made about our shared natural resources. American families want to preserve the places where they hike, explore, fish, hunt, and spend vacations, and this bill is an irresponsible scheme to shut the public out of the process and allow special interests to completely reshape how our shared lands and natural resources are used.”

These groups also sent this letter to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, outlining their concerns and opposition to the bill.

The ONSHORE Act prioritizes fracking and drilling for oil and gas over all other values, while refusing to enforce any federal rule over fracking safety. In addition, this bill obstructs the public’s right to participate in the management of public lands, while eliminating science-based evaluation of potential harms to the environment and public health from the discussion.


Alaska Wilderness League was founded in 1993 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation to further the protection of amazing public lands and waters in Alaska. The League is the only Washington, DC-based environmental group devoted full-time to protecting the Arctic National Wildlife

Refuge and other wilderness-quality lands in Alaska. For more information, visit:

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.5 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters. In addition to helping people from all backgrounds explore nature and our outdoor heritage, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

Western Watersheds Project protects and restores western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives and legal advocacy.

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