Our Birthright Has Been Stolen!

9 months ago Citizen#7 0

Republicans have given away our birth right!
The New Rule as of 1-31-2017

 

National Park Wildlife
National Park Picture

H. RES. 5 “Adopting rules for the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress” approved January 31st 2017, is 43 pages of political/legal jargon. Buried on page 35 of the 43 pages is a rule change from Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) that gives The House Natural Resources Committee the ability to  steal 640 million acres of our federal lands.

Take the time to read this article and you will understand the dark forces at work here.

The House Natural Resources Committee has 41 members 26 Republicans and 15 Democrats.

Republican Top Contributors by Industry

  • 17 – Oil and Gas
  • 5 – Forestry
  • 2 – Fisheries
  • 2 – Mining

 

Democrat Top Contributors by Industry:

  • 9 – Industrial Unions
  • 2 – Environmental Groups
  • 2 – Oil and Gas
  • 1 – Misc. Energy
  • 1 – Misc. Business
  • Source: Center for Responsive Politics | www.opensecrets.org

It’s important to know this information to fully understand the context of the rule change. Committee Co-Chair, Rob Bishop (R-UT) changed the rules of the oversight of federally owned land and the natural resources they contain; Mining, Timber, Ranching, Real Estate, and Oil. The industries that seek to profit from the use of federal lands to extract and or sell or use these federal lands are opposed by Environmental groups wanting to preserve federal lands and protect endangered species.

Here’s Representative Bishop’s Top 5 Industry Contributors ( note the Oil and Gas industry is #1):

Bishop's Top 5

The New Rule’s exact language:

TREATMENT OF CONVEYANCES OF FEDERAL LAND

In the One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, for all purposes in the House, a provision in a bill or joint resolution, or in an amendment thereto or a conference report thereon, requiring or authorizing a conveyance of Federal land to a State, local government, or tribal entity shall not be considered as providing new budget authority, decreasing revenues, increasing mandatory spending, or increasing outlays.

Daily Kos, Think Progress, The Guardian, The New York Times, etc., all agree that the underlined, highlighted, italicized portion of the last sentence of the paragraph above effectively puts the dollar value of Federal Lands at Zero ($0) dollars. This is unimaginable, Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling over in his grave.

Under Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, the House is required to account for the cost of any legislation it considers. Because of this new rule, the House does not need to even estimate any financial losses from giving away public land.

The National Wildlife Fund determined in 2011, 140 million American citizens participated in outdoor recreational activities.  The total dollars generated When figuring the indirect, or ripple effect, of outdoor recreation, the total annual economic impact is $1.6 trillion in spending. In the West, where most of the impact of this rule change will occur , outdoor recreation results in $256 billion in direct spending, generates and outdoor recreation contributes $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue and $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue. See PDF report below for the full report from the National Wildlife Fund.

Obviously even to the casual observer the land has even greater value, our heritage. I take pride in our National Park System, and Federal Lands and have enjoyed many days on trails, camping at lakes, and enjoying what nature had to offer.

States impacted by this change are: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. US Territories impacted by this are: Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa

No state or territory has the resources to pay the costs to fight fires, maintain access roads, or control wildlife or even weeds on its own. Our National Parks are threatened with this rule change too. Strapped for funds to meet obligations to citizens states are likely to turn to the resources they have available to them, land, minerals, timber, fisheries, oil, and gas can be leased / sold to support these cash strapped states.

We will have to be very aware of what the House Natural Resources Committee does in the future and what legislators on both sides of the isle propose regarding giving away our land.

Future bills to dispose of public land will skip several steps in the normal legislative process, coming up for a vote without any discussion of the costs and benefits.

Under this rule change they will most likely have to give up ownership / control to private interests. Who benefits from this rule change?  We don’t have to look far,

 Graphic Courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics | www.opensecrets.org

The graphic is important to let you the readers know who butters the bread for the House Natural Resources Committee.

Regardless of your political stripes, I suspect you like hiking, fishing, biking, bird watching, hunting, and just plain old spending  time in the great outdoors.  Get your trip in soon, the places you like to go may be soon be private property, fenced off, a hole in the ground, stumps, or worse.

Contact your legislators and find out what they are doing to protect our federal lands now and in the future, tell them to change this dreadful, horrible, sneaky, backdoor rule change.

Find Your Elected Officials: Here

Article Sources:

Land Disposal Report

National Wildlife Fund Public Lands Report 2013