Biden Restores Environmental Protections Rolled Back By Trump
President Joe Biden on Friday restored environmental protections that were rolled back by former President Donald Trump. Biden signed proclamations to restore the boundaries of two Utah monuments and banned commercial fishing in a northeast marine monument.
Biden invoked native rights calling one of the Utah monuments, Bears Ears, “a sacred homeland to hundred of generations of native peoples.” Biden also spoke about climate change and green provisions in his economic recovery bill now pending before Congress.
It was announced on Thursday that Biden would restore the Grand Staircase Escalante, another one of the Utah monuments to its original boundaries, prohibit fishing, phase out red crab and lobster fishing. Bears Ears added 11,200 acres to its original size after Trump shrunk its area during his administration.
The news was celebrated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland saying this move will bend “the moral arc of the universe towards justice,” as Martin Luther King famously said.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) criticized the move. “President Biden is delivering a devastating blow to the ongoing efforts by our delegation, along with state, local, and tribal leaders, to find a permanent, legislative solution to resolve the longstanding dispute over the boundaries and management of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments,” he said.