Tracking the Trump administration’s attempts to sell out to the fossil fuel industry

Oil well seen from just outside the entrance to Canyonlands National Park. Credit: Mason Cummings

After a chaotic first year, at least one goal of the Trump administration has become abundantly clear: To systematically sell out our America’s public lands to the fossil fuel industry. This timeline examines all the actions taken by President Donald Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to give away our nation’s heritage to energy companies for unfettered drilling, fracking, and mining.

The Wilderness Society will continue monitoring this relentless assault, while advocating to protect special places that are too wild to drill and ensuring the public has a say in public lands decisions.

Actions taken to prioritize fossil fuels on our public lands and waters to date:

  1. January 30, 2017: President Donald Trump signs Executive Order 13771 to reorganize government agencies, seeming to target in particular departments that work on climate change.
  2. February, 2017: Almost as soon as he starts working for the Trump administration, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke begins to meet regularly behind closed doors with energy executives. From February through May alone, at least 58 representatives of the oil and gas industry signed their names on the agency’s visitor logs before meeting with Trump’s political appointees.
  3. February 14, 2017: President Trump signs off on the repeal of an SEC rule whose creation was mandated under the Dodd-Frank Act and which required energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments — an important way to battle corruption in resource-rich developing countries. The regulation was scrapped through the Congressional Review Act.
  4. February 16, 2017: President Trump signs off on the repeal of the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule, which prevented mining companies from dumping coal debris and toxic waste into streams. It was axed through the Congressional Review Act.
  5. March 27, 2017: President Trump signs off on the rollback of the Bureau of Land Management’s Planning 2.0 rule, shutting Americans out of the process of deciding where and when to drill on public lands, and handing power over to the oil and gas industry. It was targeted under the Congressional Review Act.
  6. March 28, 2017: President Trump announces several new executive orders that, in the name of “energy independence,” direct the Interior Department to review, revise, or rescind many guidelines concerning where and how energy can be developed on or near public lands — including national parks and wildlife refuges.
  7. March 29, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces Secretarial Order 3348, which overturns the 2016 moratorium on coal leasing on federal land and ends the review of the outdated federal coal program.
  8. March 29, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces Secretarial Order 3349, which threatens policies designed to ensure safe and responsible oil and gas development and climate change preparedness and resiliency, among many others.
  9. April 26, 2017: President Trump announces an executive order to review national monuments designated under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The order puts somewhere between 20 and 40 national monuments in question. The Antiquities Act authorizes the president to protect landmarks, structures, and objects of historic or scientific interest by designating them as national monuments. No national monument has ever been rescinded.
  10. April 28, 2017: President Trump signs an executive order directing the Interior Department to open Arctic waters north of Alaska to oil drilling, as well as areas off the Atlantic coast that were previously deemed too sensitive or risky to drill.
  11. April 28, 2017: President Trump nominates energy industry lobbyist David Bernhardt for deputy secretary of the Interior Department. Before advocating for fossil fuel companies on Capitol Hill, Bernhardt worked at George W. Bush’s Interior Department (during the “Drill, baby, drill” era), where he oversaw the removal of policies that were seen to impede fossil fuel energy development.
  12. May 5, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces an open-ended review of national monuments, potentially undoing protections for 27 national monuments and handing those sites over to mining, oil, and gas interests.
  13. May 8, 2017: Secretary Zinke lends a hand to congressional oil and gas allies during the methane CRA fight, writing a letter to senators filled with empty promises about DOI’s intentions to curb methane emissions without the commonsense Methane Waste Prevention Rule.
  14. May 9, 2017: The EPA settles an ongoing lawsuit, reversing an Obama-era ban on permitting applications for the Pebble Limited Partnership mining company in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Permits for the controversial gold and copper Pebble Mine were previously denied because of the threat the mine poses to the world’s largest salmon run, an important part of the region’s economy.
  15. May 22, 2017: President Trump’s proposed budget reveals the administration’s intentions to open the Arctic Refuge to drilling and increased funding for oil and gas development, while cutting the Interior Department’s renewable energy program budget nearly in half.
  16. May 31, 2017: Secretary Zinke’s Secretarial Order 3352 opens up more public lands in Alaska in the National Petroleum Reserve — Alaska to oil drilling, rejecting the balanced approach for land conservation and development taken during the Obama administration for the region.
  17. June 1, 2017: President Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, drastically slowing climate action progress at the federal level.
  18. June 2, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces an Interior Department review of groundbreaking sage-grouse conservation plans in Secretarial Order 3353, an attempt to open critical, sensitive habitat to oil and gas drilling.
  19. June 9, 2017: The Interior Department indicates that it will delay compliance with its own methane rule, which limits methane waste and pollution from drilling operations on federal and tribal lands.
  20. June 14, 2017: BLM announces its intention to lease more than 100,000 acres of public land in Nevada for oil and gas development without adequate environmental analysis, endangering wilderness, wildlife, and recreation.
  21. June 14, 2017: The Interior Department indicates that it will delay compliance with its own methane rule, which limits methane waste and pollution from drilling operations on federal and tribal lands. On July 10, several conservation and public interests groups, including The Wilderness Society, sued the Interior Department over this decision. This lawsuit followed closely on the heels of a lawsuit filed on July 5 by the Attorneys General of California and New Mexico.
  22. June 15, 2017: Secretary Zinke notifies dozens of employees they will be reassigned, including the department’s top climate policy official. The shake-up appears to be part of directing more agency resources towards fossil fuel development.
  23. June 22, 2017: BLM advances plans to lease lands near Dinosaur National Monument in Northeast Utah, despite National Park Service objections that development could negatively affect the 200,000-acre site.
  24. June 22, 2017: The BLM Price Field Office (Utah) opens up a comment period to consider offering 15 parcels comprising 32,013 acres in Emery County for oil and gas leasing. These lands have significant wilderness character.
  25. June 26, 2017: The Commerce Department announces it will be reviewing 11 ocean monuments and sanctuaries in order to “encourage energy exploration and production.”
  26. June 27, 2017: In response to a Feb. 28 executive order on the Clean Water Act, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers propose a draft rule to rescind the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, essentially removing federal drinking water protections for millions of Americans.
  27. June 27, 2017: News breaks that three BLM state directors (from Alaska, Colorado, and New Mexico) are being reassigned to posts unrelated to their expertise. All three directors have a history of making balanced land management decisions not compatible with the Trump administration’s fossil-fuels-above-all approach. Transfers like this are often used to force civil servants to quit or retire.
  28. June 30, 2017: Using an opaque internal process, the Interior Department’s legal team removes a directive requiring energy companies to offset, through a process called mitigation, environmental and community damage caused by energy development on public lands.
  29. July 6, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces efforts to streamline permitting for oil and gas developers, making it easier for them to obtain access to public lands for drilling.
  30. July 13, 2017: Secretary Zinke reduces royalty rates for shallow-water leases to encourage drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
  31. July 20, 2017: Secretary Zinke attends a meeting held by a prominent anti-public lands group that receives most of its funding from the Koch brothers and the extractive industries.
  32. July 20, 2017: The Trump administration announces that it plans to rescind more than 300 regulations related to energy production or environmental protection, including many public lands-related Interior Department policies.
  33. July 24, 2017: Secretary Zinke starts a process to repeal BLM’s fracking rule, which requires companies to disclose what fracking chemicals they use, among other commonsense policies.
  34. July 24, 2017: The Senate confirms David Bernhardt as Secretary Zinke’s Deputy Interior Secretary. After working for President George W. Bush’s Interior Department, Bernhardt became a well-known lobbyist for the energy industry.
  35. August 3, 2017: BLM proposes to approve a request that would reduce the federal royalty rate by 3% for coal mined between 2015–2020 for the Colorado coal company, Arch Coal. This plan to reduce the royalty rate and reimburse Arch Coal for coal already mined in this time frame would cost federal and state programs close to $12 million.
  36. August 4, 2017: President Trump announces a decision to repeal an Obama-era valuation rule, which would reduce the royalties it collects from oil, gas and coal companies by millions of dollars.
  37. August 7, 2017: President Trump announces a decision to repeal an Obama-era valuation rule, reducing the royalties the government collects from oil, gas and coal companies by millions of dollars. In effect, rolling back this rule means American taxpayers are subsidizing the overseas consumption of American coal.
  38. August 15, 2017: President Trump signs Executive Order 13807, scaling back environmental review and permitting processes for infrastructure projects on public lands. The newly imposed two-year approval deadlines will make it easier for developers to move forward with infrastructure projects.
  39. August 24, 2017: Interior Secretary Zinke’s secret national monuments report goes to the President’s office, where it is kept under wraps for almost a month. Despite 2.8 million public comments in support of preserving national monuments, the report recommends revising or eliminating 10 national monuments — the largest rollback of public lands and waters protections in history. Multiple lawsuits have been filed contesting the legality of this move.
  40. August 29, 2017: BLM proposes oil and gas leasing on Colorado lands that they themselves identified for possible solar development.
  41. September 1, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces Secretarial Order 3355, which imposes arbitrary restrictions on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This order creates unnecessary shortcuts in the environmental review processes, making it easier for oil and gas companies to gain access to our public lands.
  42. September 1, 2017: BLM announces its intention to issue oil and gas leases near Dinosaur National Monument and San Rafael Swell in Utah, despite repeated objection from the National Park Service as well as Utah’s republican governor, Gary Herbert.
  43. September 1, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces the members of the Royalty Policy Committee, which will advise Zinke and Interior on royalty and leasing policies. The committee includes officials from the fossil fuel companies ConocoPhillips, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Cloud Peak Energy.
  44. September 15, 2017: Under the influence of Joe Balash and David Bernhardt, the very people who represented Alaska in its last attempt to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, Interior moves to open the region to extremely harmful seismic testing.
  45. September 25, 2017: In a speech to the National Petroleum Council, Secretary Zinke promises a “huge” restructuring of staff within Interior, claiming that he’s “got 30 percent of the crew that’s not loyal to the flag.”
  46. September 28, 2017: Under the guise of energy security, Secretary Perry proposes a plan to prop up dying and uneconomical coal plants with subsidies, costing taxpayers money and increasing demand for an outdated fossil fuel during a time when renewables could provide the same functions for the grid.
  47. October 4, 2017: BLM announces a proposal to rollback provisions of the Methane and Waste Prevention Rule, exempting oil and gas companies from commonsense methane pollution standards and wasting American energy at the expense of the taxpayer.
  48. October 5, 2017: The Interior Department announces its intent to change the landmark sage grouse conservation plans. After a decade of work across western states, the sage grouse plans were put in place to ensure the survival of this unique bird and the delicate sagebrush ecosystem.
  49. October 19, 2017: Todd Wynn, a known climate change denier and anti-public lands advocate who previously worked for the Koch Brothers-funded think tank the American Legislative Executive Council, is brought on as the Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs. His hiring is one more step in the systematic process of stocking the Interior Department with pro-fossil fuel leadership.
  50. October 24, 2017: BLM formally rescinds guidance that mandates consideration of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions before approving energy projects.
  51. October 25, 2017: Secretary Zinke announces his intention to more than double the visitor entrance fees for some of our country’s most visited national parks — all while pursuing systematic efforts to make it cheaper for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands.
  52. October 25, 2017: As part of its fossil-fuels-first approach, the Bureau of Land Management releases plans to lease 10.3 million acres — the most land ever leased for oil and gas development at one time — in Alaska’s remote Western Arctic.
  53. October 25, 2017: A draft of the Interior Department’s five-year strategic plan leaks to the public. Secretary Zinke’s plan to manage federal lands emphasizes energy development and expediting permitting processes for the fossil fuel industry over all other uses. The 50-page document neglects to mention climate change even once.
  54. October 25, 2017: The Interior Department publishes its “Energy Burdens Report,” which includes plans for wide swaths of regulation and policy reversals to fundamentally change how public lands are managed, prioritizing energy development and ignoring the implications for climate change and the American public. The report characterizes all conservation, from wildlife refuges to national monuments, as burdens the department must overcome.
  55. November 1, 2017: In accordance with President Trump’s deregulation agenda, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Energy Burdens Report” recommends lifting the ban on uranium mining on national forest lands surrounding Grand Canyon National Park, threatening one of the greatest natural wonders in our country — and drinking water for 25 million people.
  56. November 2, 2017: The administration announces it will pull the United States out of an international agreement, called the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which produced the most complete accounting of federally produced fossil energy resources to date.
  57. December 4, 2017: President Trump says he will roll back protections for the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, opening up millions of acres of wildlife habitat and archaeological and cultural resources to development in an action many legal experts say is not permissible.
  58. December 6, 2017: BLM offers 10.3 million acres for lease to oil and gas companies in the National Petroleum Reserve — Alaska, the largest lease sale to date. Only about 80,000 acres, or less than 1 percent of the total area, is bid on, showing just how out of touch the Interior Department is with the reality of America’s energy future.
  59. December 7, 2017: BLM announces a new rule suspending its Methane Waste Prevention Rule, rescinding commonsense environmental protections — which it just finalized in late 2016 after many years of work and stakeholder input — while allowing more than $330 million in taxpayer-owned natural gas to continue to be wasted each year.
  60. December 8, 2017: In compliance with President Trump’s quest to eliminate any and all burdens for the coal industry, BLM rescinds its Waste Mine Methane Policy, which provided guidance to companies for voluntary methane capture, because apparently even voluntary actions to eliminate waste and increase revenue are too much of a burden for fossil fuel industries.
  61. December 22, 2017: The interior Department quietly publishes Secretarial Order 3360, rescinding the Department’s climate and mitigation policies, including the Departmental Manual on Climate Change Policy, Departmental Manual on Landscape-Scale Mitigation Policy, BLM Mitigation Manual, and BLM Mitigation Handbook.
  62. December 22, 2017: President Trump signs the GOP tax-reform package into law, escalating this administration’s assault on public lands by agreeing to open the sensitive coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.
  63. December 25, 2017: The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement proposes to roll back offshore drilling safety measures enacted after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. Turning a blind eye to failures of private industry self-regulation, the administration once again chooses the profit of a few over the safety and wellbeing of the American people and our public lands.
  64. December 29, 2017: BLM releases guidelines to essentially override guidance for implementing sage-grouse conservation plans, prioritizing oil and gas leasing over conservation plans that took years to create and included input from stakeholders on both sides of the aisle.
  65. January 4, 2018: Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management releases a draft of its 5-year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which includes intentions to re-open the entire Arctic Ocean and almost all other federal waters to widespread oil and gas drilling.
  66. January 5, 2018: The Interior Department released a Solicitor’s Opinion on Friday saying it will no longer prosecute energy developers or anyone else who incidentally kills or harms migratory birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and that the MBTA only applies to purposeful “take,” like hunting and shooting. This change upends a longstanding interpretation of the law cuts the incentive for wind and other energy developers to voluntarily reduce their impacts on migratory bird populations.
  67. January 15, 2018: After months of neglect by DOI and not a single meeting with Secretary Zinke, 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members resign in frustration.
  68. January 16, 2018: BLM notices the agency’s intent to rush forward a planning process for monuments in Utah eviscerated by the Trump administration, despite lawsuits challenging the administration’s actions.
  69. January 22, 2018: Out of public view during the government shutdown today, officials of the U.S. Department of the Interior and Alaska’s King Cove Corporation signed an agreement authorizing a land exchange and construction of a needless road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and its designated wilderness area. Under previous administrations, the federal government has repeatedly studied the issue and determined that the road would cause irreparable harm to the wildlife refuge.
  70. January 24, 2018: A White House memo detailing how the administration plans to pay for crumbling U.S. infrastructure by disposing of public lands leaks to the public.
  71. January 31, 2018: Secretary Zinke releases details of a new leasing review process that makes it easier for oil and gas companies to gain access to our public lands. The updated review process will shorten the time frame for leasing decisions and comment periods as well as change public input from mandatory to voluntary.
  72. February 2, 2018: The administration announces a roll back of parts of the BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which protected 4.2 million acres of vulnerable public land while directing renewable energy development onto “low-conflict” public land that has been pre-screened and deemed suitable for that purpose.
  73. February 2, 2018: Companies can officially start staking mining claims on tracts of land removed from Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante national monuments, opening millions of acres of land that over 90% of the American public wants protected from energy development.
  74. February 2, 2018: The administration announces it will review and revise the BLM’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which protected 4.2 million acres of vulnerable public land while directing renewable energy development onto “low-conflict” public land that had been pre-screened and deemed suitable for that purpose.
  75. February 6, 2018: DOI announces intent to stop a public process, known as a “mineral withdrawal,” that would protect special areas in the California desert from new mining claims. This mineral withdrawal is essential in order to decide which protections should be put in place for the benefit of all — including the conservation of sacred Native American sites and cultural resources, critical wildlife areas, and valued places for hiking, camping, hunting and grazing.
  76. February 12, 2018: President Trump releases his budget, which will cut the popular Land and Wildlife Conservation Fund by over 90%, and with ‘clawbacks’ over 100% in some instances, and slash the EPA’s and DOI’s budget by 24% and 12%, respectively. While government agencies working on conservation face massive budget cuts, Trump wants to expand funding for coal, oil, and gas on public lands.
  77. February 12: BLM announces its replacement of the 2016 methane waste prevention rule. The new rule eliminates essential environmental and public health protections established under the 2016 rule and will result in millions of dollars of natural gas and taxpayer revenue to escape into the atmosphere.
  78. February 12, 2018: Trump announces his infrastructure plan to the public. The plan will gut essential environmental laws, allow the president to sell off public lands to pay for other projects, and even give Secretary Zinke the authority to approve pipelines running through national parks.
  79. February 21, 2018: Two senior U.S. Geological Survey scientists resign after Secretary Zinke asks for confidential data on resource assessments in the National Petroleum Reserve — Alaska, before it was to be released to the public. The scientists noted the request clearly violated USGS’s scientific integrity policy.
  80. February 28, 2018: The Royalty Policy Committee meets and steamrolls through approval of 17 recommendations designed to make energy development on public lands easier and cheaper for companies. Among the committee’s recommendations to DOI: a proposal to rush forward a lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a 1/3 decrease in the royalty rate for all offshore drilling to only 12.5%, and a practice of letting coal companies set their own value for coal. Repeatedly noted during the all-day meeting was the absence of consideration of the impacts of these recommendations on the royalties recipients, tribes, states, and the federal treasury, and the lack of inclusion of the public on the committee and in the review process.
  81. March 2, 2018: Newly released emails from the Interior Department confirm what many have feared for months — President Trump’s decision to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments was motivated by a desire to open up the land to extractive industries.
  82. March 8, 2018: Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Joe Balash express the Trump administration’s desire to pursue an aggressive timeline for oil and gas exploration and drilling on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at a breakfast meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. The Trump administration could shortcut the vital need for a thorough environmental and risk assessment in favor of getting oil rigs operating as quickly as possible.
  83. April 9, 2018: President Trump announced his “One Federal” infrastructure plan, which will curtail environmental review and safeguards related to infrastructure. The plan presents a false choice, pitting infrastructure investment against environmental safety. Specifically, the proposal weakens important procedures required in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and limits public participation which could in-turn actually delay infrastructure projects long term.
  84. April 24, 2018: The 60-day public comment period closes on the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management’s proposal to gut the 2016 methane waste rule. BLM’s new proposed rule eliminates important environmental and public health protections established under the 2016 rule and will result in increased natural gas waste and reduced taxpayer revenue. Over 400,000 comments in opposition to BLM’s proposal and in support of the original rule have been submitted, more than were submitted during consideration of the 2016 rule. No public meetings were held, despite requests from TWS and other groups.
  85. April 27, 2018: The Trump administration announces a proposal to roll back the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) pivotal Well Control Rule for offshore drilling. The Well Control Rule was put in place in 2016 in response to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 workers and led to an 87-day uncontrolled oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The rule ensures emergency systems are in place to prevent a blowout like Deepwater Horizon from ever happening again.
  86. May 2, 2018: The Interior Department reinstates two expired mineral leases at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for foreign owned mining company Twin Metals Minnesota. The company wants to develop a sulfide-ore copper mine, which would permanently damage the clean water that draws people from all over to the Boundary Waters. Protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act, the Boundary Waters is America’s most visited wilderness area for its world class angling, camping, hiking, and canoeing.
  87. May 4, 2018: Interior releases draft amendments to six Resource Management Plans which put the future management of the sage-grouse at risk. The amendments to the plans gut some of the most important protections for the bird and ignore the almost 400,000 public comments that overwhelmingly urge the BLM and the USFS to keep the original plans in place.
  88. May 10, 2018: The Interior Department begins scoping for an environmental impact statement on a proposed oil and gas lease sale on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Their pursuit of Arctic Refuge oil is in direct contrast to the desires of the Gwich’in, the indigenous people who for thousands of years have sustained their people and culture by relying on the Porcupine Caribou Herd and other subsistence resources in the Arctic Refuge.
  89. June 6, 2018: BLM issues a new policy that will streamline the NEPA process for oil and gas activity on public lands. Specifically, the policy calls for BLM to prioritize weaker environmental review processes when considering new proposals to drill. Not only will rushing through less stringent environmental review processes harm the land, it will also exclude the American public from important decisions on how the land we all own is used.
  90. July 2, 2018: The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) announces their Revised Well Control Rule which will roll back offshore drilling safety requirements put in place after the 2011 BP oil spill. The revised rule allows for less stringent safety and environmental regulations, rigging the system to heavily favor polluters by tying the hands of federal regulators and allowing the use of less adequate drilling technologies. The original rule was put in place to protect people and environmental safety. By undoing these regulations, the administration is setting the stage for potentially another fatal blow out on an offshore drill rig.
  91. July 2, 2018: The BLM announces plans to include lands in Colorado’s North Fork Valley in its December 2018 lease sale. The North Fork is home to the largest concentration of organic farms in Colorado and has a growing food and wine culture that draws comparisons to California’s Napa Valley. The BLM is proposing the sale of leases in lands surrounding the largest reservoir in the valley, as well as lands contiguous to Colorado Roadless Areas and directly above the town of Paonia. These are some of the same lands the local community joined together to oppose leasing in 2011 and 2012, prompting the BLM to consider a locally grown vision for the North Fork Valley that would keep energy development away from sensitive areas.
  92. July 3, 2018: BLM announces a new policy that will allow terminated leases, leases companies have neglected to pay rental fees for, to be reinstated through a weaker environmental review process and at no cost to the oil and gas company.
  93. July 23, 2018: Information from Interior’s national monuments review is released to the public. The documents show how the department strategically ignored evidence that would support keeping protections in place for Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments and others across the country. Secretary Zinke and Interior officials blatantly rejected analysis on the positive effects national monuments have on tourism revenue and archeological discoveries and instead focused exclusively on the value of energy development and other extractive uses.
  94. July 24, 2018: BLM releases a memo declaring it will no longer require compensatory mitigation from public land users, except where the law specifically requires it. Compensatory mitigation is the practice of offsetting impacts to land and habitat from energy and other development through conservation investments like land protection or restoration. Compensatory mitigation holds companies accountable for their actions and damages to our shared public lands. Repealing this requirement is a direct giveaway to the oil and gas industry and a blatant way of selling out the American people.