Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has criticized President Biden for his designation of a new national monument in Nevada, arguing it would negatively impact residents for generations.
On Tuesday, Biden announced he would establish the Avi Kwa Ame National Monument in southern Nevada, a region that includes Spirit Mountain and is used as a sacred space by Indigenous tribes, according to the White House.
Lombardo said he had contacted Biden about the 506,814-acre monument designation in his state, but never received a response.
The newly-minted national monument, located near multiple national wilderness areas including the Mojave Desert, is home to both significant mineral reserves and land where energy developers have proposed large renewable energy projects.
Nevada contains massive deposits of lithium, a key mineral for green energy technologies like electric vehicle batteries.
Lombardo argued that the federal confiscation of 506,814 acres of Nevada land is a historic mistake that will cost Nevadans for generations to come.
The designation of the monument threatens to disrupt rare earth mineral mining projects and long-planned, bipartisan economic development efforts in the state.
This kind of ‘Washington Knows Best’ policy might win plaudits from unaccountable special interests, but it’s going to cost our state jobs and economic opportunity — all while making land more expensive and more difficult to develop for affordable housing and critical infrastructure projects,” he said.