DATE: Friday, January 6th, 2023

TO: Interested Parties 

FROM:  Jordan Schreiber, Director of Energy and Environment at Accountable.US

 Insurrectionists & Anti-Conservationists Remain a Threat to Democracy

On the 2nd anniversary of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Accountable.US finds renewed relevance in its Ground Zero report exposing the overlap between the anti-government extremism that fueled the insurrection on January 6, 2021 and the violent opposition to public lands conservation.

Now that Republicans have the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, individuals that played both a critical role in fomenting the insurrection and fervently oppose public lands are better positioned to affect policy which could mean bad news for Americans. Returning Members of Congress and anti-government extremists Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert and Matt Rosendale have increased their power within the Republican Conference as stalwarts of the “Never McCarthy” holdouts thus giving themselves tremendous leverage in the upcoming Congress. 

In fact, Rep. Boebert has become a national “face” of the group of hardliners opposing Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for the speakership, bringing the US House to a standstill and situating herself as an influential figure in the upcoming Congress.   

  • Boebert has close ties to anti-public lands militias like the Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers.  
  • Boebert was allegedly in contact with January 6 perpetrators before the attack.  
  • Boebert has defended the January 6 perpetrators.  
  • Boebert has deep ties to the oil industry and anti-conservation groups like American Stewards of Liberty.

Meanwhile, another Leader of the “Never McCarthy” faction, Rep. Paul Gosar, is an outright apologist for Jan. 6th rioters, still supports the Big Lie, and has favored fringe policies to eliminate public lands.  

  • Gosar urged Trump supporters to “join” him on January 6, 2021 to “fight for Trump” because he believed the election was “stolen.”  
  • Gosar allegedly offered a “blanket pardon” to the rioters, who he describes as “peaceful protesters.”  
  • Gosar took steps to “dispose” of public lands in favor of private property rights.

Rep. Rosendale, an anti-government extremist, was one of the earliest supporters of the “Never McCarthy” movement and has ties to both insurrectionists and anti-conservationist groups.

  • Rosendale said he has “long been on the record as an advocate for the transfer of federal public lands to the state.” 
  • Rosendale was a speaker for the Oath Keepers, the militia whose members were charged with seditious conspiracy for their role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.

Bottom line: anti-government extremists who want to end public ownership of land and water have infiltrated the halls of Congress. These same leaders and their allies in groups such as the Oath Keepers have been on the front lines of the attempt to overturn the 2020 Election and undermine democracy based on Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.” Now, anti-government extremists are in a “win-win” scenario in which some of their most vocal allies hold significant leverage in the new congress, while the current Republican Conference Nominee for Speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, holds similarly hostile views towards conservation

No matter who the next Speaker of the House is, they will likely do the bidding of oil and gas executives rather than pursue an agenda that’s genuinely reflective of their constituents’ interest. This means pursuing industry-friendly land leasing reform and making it harder for the government to oversee drilling and oil production on federal land so that firms can exploit the people’s land more efficiently.

If it seems like the new House majority prioritizes the interests of their wealthy industry donors’ and the desires of their anti-government allies over their own communities, it’s because they do. For more information on the shared links between insurrectionists and anti-conservationists in the new congress, READ MORE.

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