Ricketts, Reynolds join governors’ letter to Biden on climate order

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden signs an executive order on...
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2021 file photo, President Joe Biden signs an executive order on climate change, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. Biden is convening a coalition of the willing, the unwilling, the desperate-for-help and the avid-for-money for a two-day summit aimed at rallying the world’s worst polluters to do more to slow climate change. Biden’s first task when his virtual summit opens Thursday is to convince the world that the United States is both willing and able isn’t just willing to meet an ambitious new emissions-cutting pledge, but also able.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 10:58 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Gov. Pete Ricketts and Gov. Kim Reynolds joined 13 other Republican governors in a joint letter to President Biden challenging him to provide details on his executive order on climate change.

The letter comes on the eve of Earth Day — and ahead of the president’s virtual global summit Thursday aimed at rallying the world’s worst polluters to move faster against climate change.

Biden campaigned on promises for a high-employment, climate-saving technological transformation of the U.S. economy, and pledges to halve the amount of coal and petroleum pollution the U.S. is pumping out by 2030. That’s compared to levels in 2005, and nearly double the voluntary target the U.S. set at the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord.

The governors take particular exception to the executive order promise to conserve at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 — and that they haven’t been “adequately consulted” on Biden’s 30x30 program.

“Some of us govern western states with massive amounts of lands in the categories mentioned (in the order) or other federal designations that should be considered as ‘conserved.’ We are deeply concerned about any effort to enlarge the federal estate or further restrict the use of public lands in our states.”

Use policies for federal lands fall under the jurisdiction of Congress, the letter states, calling the president’s order “overreach of executive authority” and a violation of state rights.

The letter contains 12 questions about the 30x30 program ranging from who will manage it, how the lands in the program will be selected, compensation and funding, and how opt-outs will be handled.

“We encourage your Administration to focus on better management of the lands the federal government already controls and to be more proactive in working with the states.”

In addition to Ricketts and Reynolds, the letter is signed by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Utah Gov. Spencer Cox.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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