Biden to designate Colorado’s Camp Hale a national monument

President Biden will travel to Colorado next week to designate a historic military site as a national monument, fulfilling a key priority of Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, who is running for re-election.

According to three people familiar with the planning, Biden and Bennet will appear together at an event on Wednesday where the President will officially declare Camp Hale, a World War II-era training site in the Continental Divide, a national monument. The move, urged by the majority Democratic congressional delegation from Bennet and Colorado, will protect the site’s historic buildings and wildlife habitats from possible development by energy companies and honor the veterans who trained there decades ago.

Biden has already added to existing national monuments, but Camp Hale would be the first entirely new monument to be designated since he took office.

The three people said officers were still trying to work out the logistics to get Biden to Camp Hale, located 9,200 feet above sea level in the Colorado highlands. Such a trip would likely require Biden to fly Air Force One to Eagle County Regional Airport and then bring Marine One to the site itself. If the logistics are too involved, the event could be held in the greater Denver area instead.

The appointment is intended to bypass the deadlock on Capitol Hill and bolster Bennet, who is seeking a third term in a state that has turned bluer since being named an open Senate seat in 2009.

Polls show Bennet’s leading Republican, Joe O’Dea, who has emphasized his opposition to GOP abortion bans in ads and is running as a more moderate candidate than many of his party’s other Senate candidates.

But OPEC+, the Saudi-led group of oil-producing nations, decided on Wednesday to cut oil production – a blow to the Biden administration, which has been working hard to stave off the move.

The cartel’s decision could put Bennet and other congressional Democrats at risk. Republicans have long criticized Democrats for limiting domestic energy production. These attacks could prove stronger if gas prices, which have fallen significantly in recent months, bounce back.

Bennet’s proposal to establish a national monument at Camp Hale passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support, but fell through when the evenly divided Senate refused to pass the measure. Biden’s actions are based on the Antiquities Act of 1906, which empowers the President to protect public lands and waters for the benefit of all Americans.

As president, he has used the law three times to restore full protection to three national monuments that President Trump downsized, including Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, home to some Native American settlements.

Biden’s stop in Colorado is likely to be the first part of a multi-day campaign show in the west that will also take him to California and maybe a third state. Though plans are still in flux, he is scheduled to attend a fundraiser for Democratic House candidates in Los Angeles on Thursday alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), an administration official said. Biden to designate Colorado’s Camp Hale a national monument

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