Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar "is going Hollywood on us" by caving in to actor Robert Redford's demands that American oil and gas leases in Utah be cancelled.
The only winners in this decision are the Hollywood elites who use our Western states for a personal playground, burn a lot of energy to keep their private jets aloft and their mansions warm, and don't notice if energy costs go up. The losers are working parents, single mothers and elderly folks all over America, who count on abundant and affordable natural gas from states like Utah to remain employed, keep warm and stay alive.
When Americans are reeling from a bad economy, how can Ken Salazar justify listening to Hollywood elites like Robert Redford, instead of struggling consumers and low-income families who count on Salazar and the Interior Department to ensure that they will have access to the American energy they need. This is a very disappointing decision by our new Interior Secretary. It may very well end up freezing out some of America's poor this winter.
CORE recently organized a protest in Salt Lake City against Redford and his extremist environmental friends.
Poor families feel the brunt of higher energy prices more than any other income class. Natural gas, the fuel that heats more than 60 million homes in the Midwest and elsewhere, increasingly comes from federal government lands in the interior Rocky Mountain region. States like Utah have been increasing natural gas production steadily over the past several years.
CORE, one of America's oldest and most respected civil rights organizations, has spent the last year speaking out on the need to responsibly and economically develop domestic energy supplies-rather than be caught in a supply squeeze like the nation faced last year when gasoline hit $5 per gallon in some parts of the country.
CORE calls upon Secretary Salazar to reconsider this decision and view these issues from the perspective of American consumers, rather than from the privileged perch of environmental elitists and Hollywood actors.