Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Private Property, States Rights - Lame-Duck Session - #2477 - Michelle Malkin: The Dem's Lame-Duck Land Grab - Townhall (2) Can a State Bypass the EPA - Jillian Bandes - Townhall

 Devil's Staircase Wilderness
Environmentalists hate sprawl -- except when it comes to the size of their expansive pet legislation on Capitol Hill. In a last-ditch lame duck push, eco-lobbyists have been furiously pressuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to pass a monstrous 327-page omnibus government lands bill crammed with more than 120 separate measures to lock up vast swaths of wilderness areas. Despite the time crunch, Senate Democrats in search of 60 votes are working behind the scenes to buy off green Republicans. House Democrats would then need a two-thirds majority to fast-track the bill to the White House before the GOP takes over on Jan. 5. The sweeping bill bundles up scores of controversial proposals, including:
New Mexico  
-- A stalled land transfer and gravel mining ban in Reid's home state of Nevada.
-- The designation of the Devil's Staircase Wilderness in Oregon as a federally protected wilderness where logging and road development would be prohibited.
-- Multiple watershed and scenic river designations that limit economic activity and threaten private property rights.
-- The creation of massive new national monument boundaries and wilderness areas along the southern border opposed by ranchers, farmers, local officials and citizens.
One New Mexico activist, Marita Noon, said the federal plans to usurp nearly a half-million acres in her state would result in an "illegal immigrant superhighway" off-limits to border security enforcement. Security analyst Dana Joel Gattuso pointed to a recent General Accounting Office report on how environmental permitting rules and land-use regulations have hampered policing efforts at all but three stations along the border.     Read entire article........  Article contributed by Steve Peters.

Can a State Bypass the EPA - Jillian Bandes - Townhall - In 2010, the EPA granted exactly two new coal mining permits in West Virginia. There are fifty outstanding permits, because according to the EPA, bugs are more important than jobs. Mayfly populations are disrupted when coal companies dig beneath the surface of the earth, which the EPA says affects the amount of food and thus the populations of indigenous fish. Other research has indicated that as soon as those bugs leave, other ones take their place, and fish populations are unaffected. As the result of this standoff, coal cannot expand in Appalachia, and some of the highest paying jobs in the state remain unfilled. For state representative Gary Howell, that’s unacceptable.  Read more..........  Article contributed by Steve Peters.

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