South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said the Biden administration hasn't provided an explanation for canceling the massive fireworks display at Mount Rushmore.
President Donald Trump, she said, brought back the Mount Rushmore fireworks display after it was rescinded under the Obama administration, which cited environmental concerns at the time.
Noem, who filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, suggested that "political reasons" were behind the move to not permit the display.
President Joe Biden, she said, "just decided not to let us have it" and then "refuse[d] to issue us the permit to be on that federal property right there."
"We met the fire danger protocols. We’ve consulted with the state, local and federal officials. We’ve done the consultations with the tribes. We met every single protocol," Noem added. "There was no reason to deny us those permits unless it was for political reasons."
Last month, U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange, an Obama appointee, ruled that Noem's lawsuit to allow fireworks at Mount Rushmore is unlikely to succeed and denied her an injuction, arguing that the Biden administration's permit rejection wasn't politically motivated. The ruling made note of the federal National Parks Service having denied the permit over concerns about COVID-19, a possible risk for wildfires, and undermining relations with Native Americans in the area.
“The concern about COVID-19 spread, from the perspective of someone writing on March 11, 2021, was very real and based on relevant data,” Lange wrote in his 36-page decision. Noem said she would appeal the decision.
A number of cities and municipalities across West Coast states including California, Oregon, and Washington decided against having fireworks displays due to an elevated risk of fire amid drought conditions.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the White House for comment.