Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship (CRS), with more than 14,000 members nationwide, is an organization that is making a real and lasting difference. Here is an overview of our many activities and accomplishments:
Defending National Monuments and the Antiquities Act
CRS is a strong supporter of Theodore Roosevelt’s Antiquities Act, which allows the establishment of national monuments to protect areas of natural and cultural significance. As such, CRS has successfully advocated for the creation of new national monuments such as Bears Ears (UT), Basin and Range (NV), Browns Canyon (CO), Katahdin Woods and Waters (ME), and Northeast Canyons and Seamounts (MA).
CRS has also vigorously opposed the Trump administration’s unprecedented effort to rollback national monument designations. In November of 2018, CRS filed amici curiae briefs in support of lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s sweeping rollbacks of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah.
In these briefs, CRS maintains that the Antiquities Act was enacted exclusively to protect America’s natural and cultural heritage—and it in no way confers authority on the president to diminish or destroy them.
Restoring Multiple Use Management on America’s Public Land
In an effort to restore some balance to the Trump administration’s helter-skelter approach to oil and gas leasing, CRS has formally requested under the Administrative Procedures Act that the Department of Interior withdraw approximately 117,000 acres of sensitive public lands in five Western states from future oil and gas leasing. The administration recently made those acres available for lease—often over the objections of state and local officials—without regard to their value for drinking water protection, wildlife habitat, historic preservation, and recreation.
However, the oil and gas industry did not bid on them. CRS believes that it makes no sense to keep these lands available for leasing at the expense of managing them to preserve their other values.
Expanding Use of Renewable Energy
CRS has been very active in efforts to expand the use of renewable energy in states where that makes the most sense. For example, in Nevada—a state ideally suited for solar and geothermal—CRS worked tirelessly over the past several years to increase the state’s renewable energy standard to 50 percent by 2030. These efforts included a successful push in 2018 to pass Nevada’s Question 6 ballot initiative to that end. The measure passed by almost 20 percentage points.
Similar efforts are underway in Arizona, where a renewable energy ballot initiative recently failed.
CRS has also been engaged in successful efforts to protect and expand net metering, which allows home and business owners to sell any excess solar energy they generate to utilities as a fair market price.
Fighting Energy Waste and Pollution
The careless and unnecessary release of methane via leaks, venting, and flaring in natural gas operations is sending atmosphere altering pollution into the air and costing taxpayers millions in lost royalties. CRS has been trying to reign in this waste on multiple fronts. This includes national and state-focused efforts
In addition to advancing renewable energy use and reducing methane emissions, CRS has been working to address climate change in other important ways.
CRS has urged President Trump to support U.S. ratification of an important amendment to the Montreal Protocol treaty. Called the Kigali Amendment, this addition would further protect the earth’s atmosphere by phasing out hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are used in refrigeration and air conditioning. HFCs are very potent greenhouse gases and American companies are in position to supply improved replacements.
Read more at: Trump should protect the atmosphere – Reagan-style
On Capitol Hill, CRS has been active in securing membership in the House Climate Solutions Caucus and co-sponsors to bi-partisan climate resolutions and legislation. CRS supports the recently introduced Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018, which would implement a market-friendly fee and dividend approach to reducing carbon emissions.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
For more than a decade, CRS has been vigorously opposing attempts to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. Those efforts were successful until 2017, when drilling in the Refuge’s wildlife-rich coastal plain was included in the 2017 tax bill. Now, the only way to prevent oil development there is to pass legislation reversing that provision.
Back in 2005, CRS helped bring 30 Republican lawmakers together in a successful effort to force the House leadership to drop its plan to include Refuge drilling in a budget bill.
Read More at: Alaska Refuge Under Threat
Tongass National Forest
CRS submitted comments in 2018 opposing the administration’s plan to weaken the Roadless Area Conservation Rule (Roadless Rule) in Alaska, which would allow
Auto Fuel Efficiency
CRS weighed in in opposition to the administration’s proposed rule to scuttle commonsense car and light truck efficiency and emission standards put in place, with auto industry support, by the previous administration. We also oppose the EPA’s related attempt to eliminate the California Clean Air Act waiver that President Ronald Reagan fought hard to establish while he was that state’s governor.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a bedrock conservation law that was enacted under the Nixon administration. In 2018 President Trump issued an executive order for his administration to streamline NEPA reviews. CRS provided official comments opposing any changes that sacrifice the purpose of the law for expediency-or to benefit a particular special interest.
Other CRS Activities
- Countered Public Land Transfer Efforts (2015-2017)
- Testified in Congress on Western Extremism and Bundy Threat (2016)
- Blocked Roll-Back of New Lighting Efficiency Standards (2011-2013)
- Helped Secure and Defend Limits on Mercury Emissions (2012-present)
- Protected the Endangered Species Act (ESA) (2011-present)
- Worked to Safeguard the Land & Water Conservation Fund (2005-present)
- Launched the “What Would Reagan Do” Media Campaign (2009)
- Helped Pass Landmark Conservation Legislation (2009)
- South Carolina Climate Initiative (2008)