Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Drill It All!

Conservatives in Congress, who view themselves as among the "owners" of the continent, are outraged at Obama's record number of monument designations that put public lands with significant cultural, historic or ecological value out of reach of new resource exploitation.  Legislation is considered to amend the Antiquities Act by removing presidential authority to make designations.  The so-called "improved" designations act has twenty-five co-sponsors including Senator Warren Hatch of Utah who calls the designations land grabs.  Obviously it is not a land grab when a petroleum company wants to frack sensitive ecosystems already stressed for more world-warming natural gas and oil.  Obama made more designations last week including expanding the Siskiyou-Cascade National Monument and Martin Luther King's Alabama headquarters.  His designations add 568 million acres to the monument system.  The bill to gut the 1906 Antiquities Act is before the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee chaired by an anti-nature senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.