All Your Bases Are Belong to Us
In an op-ed in the Washington Times Senator Jim DeMint warns about the Obama administration’s plans for a power-grab on more than 10 million acres of land:
A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers.
The document lists 14 properties that, according to the document, “might be good candidates” for Mr. Obama to nab through presidential proclamation. Apparently, Washington bureaucrats believe it’s more important to preserve grass and rocks for birdwatchers and backpackers than to keep these local economies thriving.
Administration officials claim the document is merely the product of a brainstorming session, but anyone who reads this memo can see that it is a wish list for the environmentalist left. It discusses, in detail, what kinds of animal populations would benefit from limiting human activity in those areas.
This includes a 58,000-acre area in New Mexico. The memo said this should be done so the lesser prairie chicken and the sand dune lizard will be better protected. Are these animals going extinct? No. The bureaucrats wrote that the land should be locked up to “avoid the necessity of listing either of these species as threatened or endangered.”
In Nevada, the Obama administration might make another monument in the Heart of the Great Basin because it, supposedly, is a “center of climate change scientific research.”
In Colorado, the government is considering designating the Vermillion Basin as a monument because it is “currently under the threat of oil and gas development.”
“The threat of oil and gas development”, wow. If you ever asked yourself how serious Obama is when he talks about the economic situation being his priority or about developing energy sources other than those loved by liberals, here is your answer. Even as a result of administration employees “brainstorming” this is scary – if not surprising – stuff.
DeMint has sponsored an amendment to stop the seizure of the listed areas and at least have an open debate on the plans, but it was defeated on a partisan line. (A video of his Senate floor comments on this is here.) The French Cowboy thinks that the Obama administration has to explain itself on this memo.
H/T to Ed Morrissey