Robert Redford: You Can't Put A Price On Silence Or Solitude
You can’t put a price on silence or solitude. You can’t quantify the beauty of wilderness. And yet that’s not going to stop the Bush administration from trying to sell off what should be the birthright of future generations.
In three days, this Friday, 110,000 acres of majestic Utah wild lands go on the auction block, to be sold to the highest bidders in the oil and gas industry. It’s a last-ditch effort by a corrupt administration to further enrich its friends in the dirty fuels business. If they succeed, they’ll leave a wasteland behind them.
Never mind that we the People of the United States just rejected the failed energy policy of “drill, baby, drill!” Never mind that once industrialized, these precious lands will be marred for centuries. Ravaging these places will put cash in the pockets of greedy speculators, even if it won’t solve our energy problems.
The miraculous thing about America though, is that we the People have options. And one of those options is to take a corrupt and foolish administration to court.
This morning I stood with my friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Cong. Brian Baird (D-WA) to announce an emergency lawsuit aimed at stopping this wanton destruction of Utah wilderness. Sharon Buccino, the head of NRDC’s lands program, has been fighting the Bush administration for eight years, holding the line against an industrial juggernaut. She says it’s illegal under federal law for the Bureau of Land Management to just snap its fingers and sell off national treasures. In its rush, BLM just ignored the rules.
Sharon’s case will be among the last lawsuits NRDC ever files against the Bush administration. Most of those lawsuits have been successful. I don’t know the odds on this one, but my fingers are crossed. It could be our last chance to protect these irreplaceable lands.
Bush may be a lame duck president, but he can still quack.
- Robert Redford