Monday, May 12, 2014

Western State's Hero Cliven Bundy prompts Political Leaders to take Federal Land Back.

Cliven Bundy is a freeloader, racist and all around embarrassment. He’s attracted anti-government armed militia groups who literally aim their guns at law enforcement so Bundy could feed his cattle for free. Bundy has rightfully been criticized by both sides, for obvious reasons. 

But a surreal movement of conservative political leaders has remarkably found a voice in Bundy, and are apologetically planning to exploit it.
sltrib: It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said "What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem." 
It is? More ranchers should freeload? Or maybe they should pay much higher grazing fees charged by the states. This is political opportunism at its most crass.

Realistically, this would be a repeal of Teddy Roosevelt's Antiquities Act, a bold environmental step that saved our most pristine area's of the country for you and me. We are now part of the extended Cliven Bundy family?   

At the same time Republicans are complaining about the BLM’s overreaching policies, the GOP in D.C. has purposely underfunded the agency, making it incapable of doing its job. See, government is bad. While the states want to take control of federal land, they've done next to nothing to inspect and regulate against water contamination and environmental damage. They want to leave it up to an underfunded BLM (noted in bold below) and blame them any problems:
The government has failed to inspect thousands of oil and gas wells it considers potentially high risks for water contamination and other environmental damage, congressional investigators say. The findings from the Government Accountability Office come amid an energy boom in the country and the increasing use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. 

The report makes clear in many instances that the BLM’s failure to inspect high-priority oil and gas wells is due to limited money and staff. The BLM has developed agreements with some states, which also have jurisdiction over well inspections on federal lands. According to the GAO, it had reached agreements with regulators in California, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming. 

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