Great news. Greenwire reports:
“Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is hoping to pass a package of public lands and wilderness bills during the lame-duck session of Congress. Bingaman’s panel has sent more than 60 bills to the floor this session that would create new national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and wildlife sanctuaries. Now he’s hoping to bundle them into an omnibus measure for Senate passage before the 111th Congress adjourns, spokesman Bill Wicker confirmed today.”
Can’t get cap-n-trade? Doesn’t matter. Just a symptom. Not the disease. The ongoing *direct* land grab (mostly, but not exclusively) out West continues apace while other regulations seal off the land less directly by effectively taking its most productive use. As I opened Chapter 8, “Domestic Disturbance”, in Power Grab:
“Immediately upon taking office, President Obama rushed to seal off our domestic energy supplies from public access. In a frenzied offensive, he intensified the long-running, multi-front campaign by his allies seeking to block production and use of the abundant coal lying beneath the ground. Obama vowed new policies to “bankrupt” coal and cause energy prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” America’s ability to supply oil and gas was already dangerously threatened by inane measures severely limiting domestic production.
A few of these – executive and legislative moratoria on much offshore exploration and production, and the same regarding our enormous “oil shale” deposits on land – had only recently been lifted after long-overdue public outcry. Soon these were placed in limbo again by Obama delaying a plan to manage the resources….Obama’s political pandering to radicals pursuing a retrograde obsession with privation causes productivity, real wages, and employment to drop, which ultimately drags the economy down with them. …
With the anti-growth, anti-energy radicals now installed in the two political branches of government, on top of increasingly activist courts, Washington is aggressively doubling down on a long-simmering war against our prosperity, freedoms, and safety. …As individual Americans suffer now, and with our national security already imperiled by these policies as detailed in Chapter 9, “Insecurity Complex,” much more of the same is being cynically pushed in the name of enhancing our security and returning us to prosperity. The only thing enhanced here at home is state control of power, in all senses of the term.”
We have known for some time that the anti-energy crowd had their eyes on much, much more land lock-up. This agenda, while largely being executed under far too much authority already existing in (or being claimed by) the executive branch, it also benefits from an assist from Capitol Hill, and that seems to be what Sen. Bingaman is trying to expedite before the House is lost. This is a War on the West (the focus of an important joint hearing) is, viewed more broadly, a war on American energy and a war on freedom.
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