Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s first major decision — to cancel oil and gas leases on 77 parcels of public land in Utah — has gotten thunderous applause from actor and environmental activist Robert Redford.
“Now, instead of being drilled and industrialized, this redrock wilderness can remain part of our natural heritage,” the Oscar Winner who founded the Sundance Film Festival (which takes place in Park City, Utah) blogged on Huffington Post.
Robert was one of the many voices opposing the raping of the land, which was further brought to the forefront by a lawsuit filed by NRDC, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Earthjustice to halt the leases. “I have spent my adult life exploring the slick rock ridgelines, red-walled canyons, and rock art galleries that were threatened by the recent lease sale. I feel deeply connected to these places, and that’s why I spoke up for them.”
While he’s celebrating a victory, the star of films including The Horse Whisperer and Out of Africa emphasizes that we all need to be doing anything we can to help the planet, suggesting: “We can drive down energy costs by calling on American workers to weatherize our homes and build more efficient cars. We can opt for clean wind and solar power that doesn’t pollute our air and water or endanger our health. And we can protect wild landscapes for generations to come.”
So the take away from this? Speak up. Changes can be made. This change came weeks after the new presidential administration took office.
Can’t wait to see where we’ll be a year from now.