Dear Editor:

There’s an unholy message coming out of the White House.

It’s a message of dominance: dominance over women; over minorities, refugees and immigrants; over Native Americans and public lands; over the Earth.

And now, the White House is calling for a policy of energy dominance. At the center of this strategy is a full-bore give away of our public lands to oil and gas companies.

With the hottest month ever recorded just past us, the U.S. continues to push for unfettered burning of fossil fuels with little regard for the dangers.

Look around- the effects are already with us.

Last weekend, my wife and I drove into the La Sals to escape the heat. As we climbed out of Castle Valley, we saw the dead juniper and pinyon trees: the years-long drought taking its toll.

It doesn’t take a biologist to tell you that something is wrong up here. We see groves of dead conifers alongside swaths of aspens, their quaking leaves a sickly gray color, not the vibrant cooling green we crave.

Yet we’re still leasing our public lands to oil companies, still drilling, still burning. Desecrating sacred lands all over southern Utah, from Grand Staircase to Hovenweep. Since 2018, over 62,000 acres of public lands have been leased for oil and gas near Hovenweep alone.

Tune into the local environmental groups that are paying attention to current leasing giveaways in our part of the world. Contact the Sierra Club, Canyon Country Rising Tide or Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance among others, and let them know you want to help.

It may be too late to head off the climate catastrophe that’s coming our way, but we’ve got to keep trying. Stopping runaway oil and gas leasing might make a difference.

Harry Holland

Castle Valley