President Biden Reverses Moves to Shrink National Monuments

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis. Among other things, this executive order rescinds Proclamations 9681 and 9682, which reduced the size of the Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by 50%, respectively. Opening these monuments to oil and gas development freed up vast reserves of oil and gas for extraction and eventual use—the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument previously contained an estimated 28 billion tons of coal, 136.5 billion gallons of oil, and 2.6-10.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.