This Week at Interior January 21, 2022


This Week at Interior  

A day of service to honor an American hero...Secretary Haaland marked the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week with a visit to Miriam's Kitchen in Washington, D.C. She served meals to people experiencing homelessness and thanked the staff and volunteers who work every day to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors and local community. Later, Secretary Haaland visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, which honors Dr. King’s legacy and the struggle for freedom, equality, and justice. 

Secretary Haaland commemorated the one-year mark of the Biden-Harris administration this week with a keynote address to the GreenLatinos Winter National Summit. The Secretary highlighted the importance of environmental justice, the work accomplished together in the past year, and the road ahead. 

Every community faces the pain and heartache that extreme events bring. However, not every community has the resources to rebuild, or even relocate when a climate event happens in their backyard. That’s why the Biden-Harris administration is building equity and inclusion into our all-of-government approach to the climate crisis. 

The Biden-Harris Administration is moving across several fronts when it comes to advancing clean energy projects. Interior announced a record-breaking offshore wind lease sale off the coasts of New York and New Jersey, the most lease areas ever offered. Onshore, Interior is joining the Departments of Defense, Agriculture, Energy, and the Environmental Protection Agency to improve clean energy project reviews to expand solar, onshore wind, & geothermal energy on federal lands. 

Interior this week announced $25 million in funding to accelerate a long-term solution addressing the Pretty Rocks landslide in Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska. That funding was made available thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Pretty Rocks landslide has been active since at least the 1960s, but in recent years it's caused restrictions and road closures. The project will help safeguard Alaska’s outdoor recreation economy and ensure safe and full access to the park much sooner than expected. 

It's an historic action that will benefit the nation’s public lands for generations to come...the Foundation for America’s Public Lands was launched this week at a virtual event featuring remarks by Secretary Haaland and Department leaders. The non-profit foundation was authorized by Congress and will help leverage public and private dollars to conserve, protect and restore lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management for the benefit of the American people. 

Interior this week announced an interagency initiative to implement a new federal program for addressing orphaned wells, created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Interior joins the Departments of Agriculture and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission in launching the $4.7 billion program to fund well site plugging, remediation, and restoration activities, which will create good-paying jobs, address environmental injustice, and reduce methane emissions. 

Interior is joining the Department of Agriculture and the White House Council on Environmental Quality to help develop the American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas. That's a new tool designed to measure the progress of conservation, stewardship, and restoration efforts across the United States, in a manner that reflects the goals and principles of the America the Beautiful initiative. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments by March 7th. 

The Bureau of Indian Education released its official logo this week, the first since the Bureau's inception in 2006. The initial logo design was created by Kayla Jackson, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe who is also a graduate of the Bureau’s Haskell Indian Nations University located in Lawrence, Kansas. 

And our social media Picture of the Week, the breathtaking landscape of the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in California. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Alabama Hills are a formation of rounded rocks and eroded hills set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the Inyo Mountains...visitors can enjoy rock climbing, exploring natural arches, and viewing the swaths of wildflowers that bloom every spring. 

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That's This Week at Interior. 

This Week: Secretary Haaland marks the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the Secretary addresses the GreenLatinos Winter National Summit, marking the first year of the Biden-Harris administration; Interior joins other federal agencies to push for clean energy on and off-shore; help is on the way for the Pretty Rocks Landslide in Alaska, thanks to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law; a virtual event launches the Foundation for America's Public Lands; Interior and other federal agencies join forces to take on legacy pollutions; there's a new tool on the way to measure the progress of conservation, stewardship, and restoration efforts across the United States; the Bureau of Indian Education gets its first-ever logo; and we go way off the beaten path for our social media Picture of the Week!