Weigh in on drilling in national parks

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National parks have cultural, historical, natural and economic value, making it hard to believe that oil and gas development within them is not only possible but presently scantly regulated.

The NPS governs the surface resources in parks but not those underground. That means if mineral rights in a national park are owned by a state or private entity, oil and gas development could be possible there.

The NPS wants to make changes to the way the process is regulated. In its proposed rule, the NPS lays out the changes and lists parks, including Grand Teton, Mesa Verde and the Great Sand Dunes, which are open to future drilling. The rule would subject developers to stricter regulation, eliminate a restoration spending cap, and fine operators for even minor violations.

If you value parks, take a minute or two to comment on the proposal through Dec. 28, 2015.

Photo courtesy NPS, drilling rig in Padre Island National Seashore.