Earlier today, President Barack Obama claimed over 1.6 million acres of land as national monuments through the Antiquities Act. This is Obama’s latest move to derail President-elect Donald Trump’s administration as it will deter the development of domestic energy production.
As reported by The Washington Times, Obama designated a total of 300,000 acres in Clark County, Nevada and another 1.35 million acres in Utah as protected lands. The area in Nevada is now called the Gold Butte National Monument while the massive region in Utah has been designated as the Bear Ears National Monument.
“Today, I am designating two new national monuments in the desert landscapes of southeastern Utah and southern Nevada to protect some of our country’s most important cultural treasures, including abundant rock art, archaeological sites and lands considered sacred by Native American tribes,” Obama said in a statement.
Although the designation is regarded as for the enrichment of the country’s cultural legacy, it also deals a huge blow to the energy sector.
Ever since the campaign period, Trump has been the champion of the country’s domestic workforce due to his promises of revitalizing the country’s industrial operations. However, through the latest land grab carried out by Obama in Utah and Nevada, Trump’s administration will certainly have a hard time designating these lands as energy resource sites.
Utah Representative Rob Bishop of the House Natural Resources Committee slammed Obama for his latest move and pledged that he and the other Republicans will do whatever they can to reverse the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument.
In a statement, Bishop called Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act as an abuse of his executive power.
“Mr. President, I want you to know that we are saddened by this abuse of the Antiquities Act,” he said. “It is sad that this entire process has been done in secrecy and in shadows. And Mr. President, I want you to know as Utahns, we will use every tool at our disposal to do the right thing – whether it be legislative action, judicial action, even executive action – because what we have seen so far is poor procedure.”