Raúl Grijalva

Under Trump, our public lands are spewing carbon dioxide
Parks and forests could help us tackle the climate crisis — but right now they’re making it worse

OPINION — The Trump administration tried to sneak two alarming climate change reports past the public last year just after Thanksgiving, apparently hoping everyone would be shopping or sleeping off a turkey hangover. The attempt backfired spectacularly.

One of the reports, the National Climate Assessment, gave a new sense of urgency to climate policy in a way unmatched by other recent scientific analyses. Its projections of huge impacts on people’s health, their homes, and the overall U.S. economy from runaway climate change have spurred fresh calls for action and sharpened House Democrats’ focus on climate policy in the next Congress.

Opinion: When Trump Dreams About Our National Parks, He Sees Oil
‘America’s best idea’ deserves better than drill-everywhere schemes

For most Americans, the mention of national parks brings to mind the scenic vistas of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite Valley or contemplative memorials like the Statue of Liberty and Pearl Harbor. Few people think of the tremendous amount of infrastructure — from roads and bridges to visitors centers and sewer systems — that supports 330 million annual visitors and $34.9 billion in annual economic output.   

The National Park Service manages a broad network that requires routine repairs, rehabilitation and maintenance. Due to chronic underfunding and the age of our iconic parks, much of the infrastructure that supports park visitation needs serious upkeep.

Grijalva: Oil Spill in Gulf Exposes Folly of Offshore Drilling

Public policy debates rarely produce clear winners. Supporters of an idea tout its benefits, opponents highlight the dangers, and rarely, if ever, is anybody declared the victor. Sometimes, decades later, three out of five academics might agree that one side or the other may have had the better argument.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico, however, provides an exception. This still-unfolding tragedy was significant for many reasons, one of which is that it resolves the debate over expanding drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf.

A Public Option Must Be Part of Health Care Plan
“One of the best ways to bring down costs, provide more choices, and assure quality is a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete and keep them honest. I look forward to a product that achieves these important goals.—These are the words of our President Barack Obama, spoken this week. And our leader here in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), is of the same mind: Real health care requires a public option.We could not agree more.[IMGCAP(1)]We are enco...
Grijalva: Parks Undergoing Climate Change

In 1850, the estimated number of glaciers in what would become Glacier National Park was 150; today, it is 26. The Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park are dying. Our national parks require and deserve attention from Congress and the Obama administration. We must take strong and swift action to combat climate change on federal lands, or these parks and others like them will need new names.

Forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and other federally owned lands represent a 650-million-acre front in the battle against global climate change, but federal land management agencies have yet to take up the fight in earnest. Climate change, 100 years of fire suppression and a severe drought have combined to turn the American West into a tinderbox. The number of fires has quadrupled, their severity has increased and the annual cost to fight them has skyrocketed.

Obama Should Avoid Bush’s Iraq Errors in Dealing With Afghanistan
Before Afghanistan becomes for President Barack Obama what Iraq became for former President George W. Bush — a seemingly incurable conflict that alienated America’s allies and increased insecurity regionally — we recommend an augment to the Afghanistan approach. The plan is primarily military, with bolstered U.S. troops and barely $1 billion in nonmilitary assistance. While the president is right to focus his energies on Afghanistan, this approach will fail to garner the sec...