For Immediate Release, February 22, 2017
Contact: Ryan Beam, (928) 853-9929, firstname.lastname@example.org
Facing Massive Protests, Arizona's Gosar Cancels In-person Town Hall
PHOENIX— Citing an “overwhelming level of interest,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has cancelled an in-person town hall slated for Thursday in Gold Canyon, Ariz., changing it instead to a carefully orchestrated “tele-conference” that precludes in-person attendance. Hundreds were expected to attend the event to protest Gosar’s agenda, including his relentless and unpopular efforts to privatize federal public lands.
“If Congressman Gosar can’t face public outrage over his policy agenda, he should change that agenda,” said Ryan Beam with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Americans and Arizonans love public lands, and Gosar’s fascination with privatizing them is dangerously out of step.”
Between 2011 and 2016, Gosar introduced or cosponsored at least 32 anti-public lands bills. Five of these bills would have handed over America’s public lands to states and private interests for short-term profit; 13 bills would have expanded state or private management control of public lands; seven would have weakened or eliminated certain environmental protections for those lands; and seven other bills would have limited or banned the designation of new national monuments. In the current Congress, Gosar has shown that this anti-public lands agenda is anything but over.
“Congressman Gosar has been relentless in his attempts to hand America’s public lands over to mining and fossil fuel corporations — he’s one of the worst public-lands enemies in Congress,” Beam said. “With the likes of Koch Industries and Arch Coal funding his campaigns, that should come as no surprise.”
Through the course of his career Gosar has accepted around $250,000 in campaign contributions from mining, fossil fuel and other resource extraction corporations. That includes $16,000 from Koch Industries, $7,000 from Exxon Mobil and $4,000 from Arch Coal.
Recent town hall meetings have been flooded with people outraged at western Republicans’ attempts to privatize public lands. Most notably, hundreds of angry people flooded a town hall meeting with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) after he voiced support for a bill that would sell off 3.3 million acres of America’s public lands and his continuing opposition to the newly established Bears Ears National Monument.
Download a Gosar dossier compiled by the Center here.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.