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LETTER: We must protect Nevada’s Ruby Mountains from fossil fuel exploration

It’s one of my dreams to one day take my daughter to what is often described as “the Swiss Alps of Nevada” and show her another corner of her home state. It would be a painful lesson if before I get to take her to this enchanting spot, the Ruby Mountains are left scarred by drilling rigs.

That’s what could happen if fossil fuel interests get their way. Every few years, anonymous bidders request the government open portions of the Ruby Mountains for oil and gas exploration. The U.S. Forest Service has denied these requests so far, but only after receiving thousands of public comments in opposition.

In fact, it may take an act of Congress for the Ruby Mountains to receive the permanent protection they so richly deserve. Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is proposing legislation to withdraw the Ruby Mountains from any future oil and gas leasing, forever. The Senate should hear the bill and the House should introduce companion legislation. Rep. Mark Amodei has an important opportunity to lead here.

We can’t lose places such as the Rubies to fossil fuel extraction. Our children deserve to see some parts of this world left untouched by development and destruction. Congress should work to pass the Ruby Mountains Protection Act.

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