Grand Staircase–Escalante (Utah)
Trump’s monuments review starts over 20 years ago in 1996 — the same year the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was established. That’s no accident, according to Weiss. “[Republicans] have hated it since President Clinton established it,” he says. “Coal companies would love to get in there, even though there’s not much of a market for coal anymore. They would love to drill and mine more in the West because it’s cheaper for them to do that: Your labor costs in Utah and Wyoming are so much lower than your labor costs in the traditional coal country of Kentucky and Pennsylvania.”
Like Bears Ears, the Grand Staircase-Escalante is both highly symbolic and of high interest to fossil fuel companies. Both efforts to revoke or downsize them are led by a Utah delegation of Bishop and Congressman Jason Chaffetz. Zinke has said the two monuments “bookend” the administration’s review of national monuments.
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