Grand Canyon, USA
Grand Canyon is in one of the national parks that could be affected by the bill Reuters

An Arizona Republican Representative has tabled a resolution in Congress that would reduce restrictions on oil and gas drilling in national parks.

The resolution proposed by Congressman Paul Gosar would eliminate restriction on drilling on federal land introduced in 2016 by the Obama administration, said the National Parks Conservation Association in a statement.

Under the restrictions, detailed planning and safety standards must be adhered to inside the more than 40 national parks which have "split estate" ownership, or where the federal government owns the surface rights but not the subsurface mineral rights.

Split-estate parks include Everglades National Park in Florida, the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, the Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, and the Grand Canyon National Recreation Area.

Critics fear US President Donald Trump, who has said he does not believe in global warming, will seek to roll back environmental protection legislation and increase US oil drilling.

Shortly after taking office on 20 January, Trump imposed a 90-day hiring freeze on the National Park Service and other federal bodies responsible for public land and banned them from issuing press releases or other information.

Several park services defied the order, tweeting thinly veiled criticism of Trump and information on global warming.

On Monday (30 January) Jason Chaffetz of Utah introduced legislation to sell off 3.3 acres of federally owned land, drawing criticism from environmentalists and hunting groups.

Trump compared to Putin after National Park Service tweets about climate change are deleted IBTimesUK/Wochit