Will Trump Give Public Lands to Big Energy?

August 17, 2017

A major goal of the current US leadership is to destroy the very idea that any government, any people, any law, can presume to curb or regulate the naked power of wealthy corporations to do with any land, any place, or any people as they wish.

One step in that process is to undermine Teddy Roosevelt’s vision, that Nature has blessed America, and the world, with a natural heritage that must forever be protected from predations of greed.

It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals — not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening.”

New York Times:

No president has ever abolished a national monument designated by a predecessor. President Trump may try to change that.

Ryan Zinke, the secretary of the interior, is reviewing 27 national monuments to determine if previous administrations exceeded their authority in setting aside craggy vistas, ancient cliff dwellings and other large tracts of land for protection. He is expected to recommend that some be scaled back, or perhaps eliminated entirely and transferred to state ownership.

Democrats and environmental activists see the review as part of a broad effort within the Trump administration to unravel the conservation legacy of President Barack Obama, who under the 1906 Antiquities Act put more land and water under federal protection than any other president. Yet Mr. Zinke’s study, due by Aug. 24, stretches back 21 years to include other national monuments that remain a source of acrimony, particularly in the West.

Bears Ears National Monument -1.35 million acres | Designated by Barack Obama, 2016

Hailed by environmentalists and Native American groups, pilloried by conservatives and many local residents, Bears Ears National Monument has become the poster child for the fight over Mr. Obama’s preservation agenda.

Mr. Zinke has already vowed major changes to this vast expanse of Utah sandstone and red rocks that Mr. Obama designated for protection, along with 300,000 acres of land in Nevada as Gold Butte National Monument, in the waning days of his administration.

Native American groups, for whom the rock formations and canyons are considered sacred ground, have fought to maintain the monument, arguing that archaeological sites have been defaced and that burial sites have been looted. But Utah’s political leaders denounced the decision. Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a Republican, called it an “egregious abuse of executive powers.”

In a preliminary report unveiled in June, Mr. Zinke recommended shrinking Bears Ears’ borders by identifying and separating “areas that have significant objects to be protected.” The early move has already prompted outrage from outdoor recreation companies like Patagonia and REI, and spurred the Outdoor Industry Association to pull their annual trade show out of Utah. They and others have vowed to go to court to fight any proposed changes to the monument.

Bears Ears Google Earth flyover, below:

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11 Responses to “Will Trump Give Public Lands to Big Energy?”


  1. There seems to be a very childish, petty right winger who quite frequently down-votes your posts, Peter.

    Shows just how petty and malicious they really are.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “….very childish, petty right winger who quite frequently down-votes….”

      Insert Tom Bates, Ron Voisin, Russell Cook, or DweebyJ for VCPRW and “always” for “frequently” and you’ve likely hit the bullseye. They also up-vote each other—-that’s why you may sometimes see a very few thumbs up on their comments. It’s beyond childish and petty.


  2. The right wing exhibits such pathetic behavior when it comes to the legacy of Barack Obama, and they don’t seem to give a damn how it affects the country when they commit these reprehensible, ignoble acts.


    • I take it you care about what’s happening to wild landscapes, right? Do you side with this blog and its followers who defend landscape impacts of industrial wind power on the thin basis that it’s fighting climate change and oil addiction?

      Witness what happens to desert lands (similar to Bears Ears) when wind energy projects invade them:

      http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/Renewable-Energy.html (large collection of articles and evidence)

      http://www.basinandrangewatch.org/Wind-Construction.html (study those photos and ask yourself how that’s helping nature)

      Some people profess concern for physical intrusions only when they’re fossil fuel or nuclear power related. They operate under the rubric of environmentalism but show no aesthetic consistency. For that, I’ve coined the term wind-blindness (unless someone else did it first). Vultures and probably other soaring birds are literally blind to wind turbines in front of them. It’s due to their blind spots evolved for aerial scavenging and sun protection. They will never “adapt” to this new threat, as some wind geeks claim.

      http://www.nature.com/news/vultures-blind-to-the-dangers-of-wind-farms-1.10214 (don’t try to blame that on house cats)

      I’m no climate change denier. This is about losing our remaining open spaces to industrial development and ending up with a much bleaker world than climate change alone may bring. It’s already happening and people who defend it are eco-hypocrites.

      http://cutt.us/windschmerz

      • greenman3610 Says:

        certainly there are some places where wind turbines are not appropriate. there are far more places where
        wind and/or solar are not only appropriate, but minimally impactful or even beneficial for bio-diversity.
        Given the threat of climate change, it is inevitable that renewable energy will be adopted – it is up to citizens to
        make sure that responsible choices are made for any form of power generation.


  3. Perspective is called for.
    An excellent article , it is on fascism but that ideology is one that has deep roots in the US if you dig into your history, tying in very much with the Libertarian principles of the wealthy, powerful and corrupt. – i.e look after me and my wealth at all and any cost.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/17/fascism-history-united-states

    How well do you know your history, the Depression from 1870 to WW1 where the rich got filthy rich and truly nasty stuff happened

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/17/fascism-history-united-states

    Tintenfische
    14h ago
    102 103

    It would have also been worth mentioning the actions of business owners and nine owners in the early part of the 20th century. The actions of Ford when it came to strike breaking and the violence that a simple request of free association and freedom of labour wright was as close to fascism as a county can get.

    The fascism was even more apparent during the Paint Creek-Cabin strike when mine owners turned machine guns on working men and assassinated lead figures for having the temerity to protest and fight for better conditions.

    One common theme that emerged through the early part of he century and the political violence it brought was the use of private militias such dressed up as detective agencies such as Baldwin-Felts and others, meeting out extreme harm to protesters, undermining the civil liberties too and shredding the protections that the constitution afforded ordinary people was egregious and absolutely in the fascist mould.

    Hero’s emerged from this time such as Mother Jones, people who fought and in some cases died for the right to work safely. However it has to be remembered that at the time they last?, that fascism won in America and it took almost a century to get back all the rights which were stolen.

    pinkeywafu Tintenfische
    12h ago
    37 38

    The federal government also used bombers against the miners defending their families against the mine owners henchmen.
    Local sheriff’s trying to uphold the law were murdered by the mine owners.
    Have a look at the “coal wars”

    • webej Says:

      Good background. Few people realize the extent to which American wealth was built on slave, indentured, bonded, ‘forced’ labor, etc. In addition to the coolies who built the railroads and the plantation slaves, (white) immigrants commonly paid their fare or other debts with a stint of bonded labor (usually 7 years), which wasn’t far from slave labor. The image of the freedom-loving equal-opportunity rugged individualists setting out on the frontier (“Go west young man” actually referred to western New York state) as foundational for the American character has been superimposed on a lot of oppression and exploitation, probably the real reason many of them ventured to risk their lives somewhere beyond the frontier.

  4. dumboldguy Says:

    “A major goal of the current US leadership is to destroy the very idea that any government, any people, any law, can presume to curb or regulate the naked power of wealthy corporations to do with any land, any place, or any people as they wish.”

    That may be the truest thing ever said on Crock.

    The Letter to Utah video clip does a beyond excellent job of telling the story.

  5. webej Says:

    All prosperous countries thank their good fortune to some reasonable degree of equitability and to public goods [the “fourth” factor of production: infrastructure, education, public institutions, sanitation, etc].

    Neo-liberals insist that public goods are wasteful and wrong-headed, usually citing the phrase “tragedy of the commons.” If given a free hand, they would point to the oceans and the atmosphere, and, with a straight face, announce that the problems there are the result of lack of ownership interest, and thus the solution is to sell parcels of ocean and atmosphere off, with the new owners recouping investments and improvements from user fees.


  6. Once again, this blog feigns concern for natural places, but when Big Wind (a subset of Big Energy) builds thousands of towering, noisy machines all over similar lands, or within viewing distance of them, it’s “green” just because some quasi-environmentalist engineers said so. Only strip mines and horsehead pumps are hard to look at. Rare earth mines for wind turbine magnets are beautiful because anything associated with wind power must be beautiful!

    I suspect you wouldn’t mind seeing wind turbines inside Bears Ears Monument itself. That’s how deep wind-blindness can run. Since spoiling the desert is now considered “clean,” why not gussy up the rim of the Grand Canyon with hundreds of Vestas vista-killers? The point is, where does it finally stop?

    Here’s the general look wind turbines impart to arid or treeless landscapes:

    http://google.com/search?tbm=isch&q=wind+turbines+desert (they must be beautiful because…..how couldn’t they be?!)

    You can already see wind turbines from literally millions of acres of scenic places, officially or unofficially designated. They are spun as an acceptable sacrifice for a futile attempt to fix climate change, so the world is getting uglier and warmer at the same time. Way to go, human ingenuity!

    Anyone posting to this site with an anti wind power stance will be hit with standard claims that they must be carbon-apologists. The small minds here can’t comprehend that nature is taking hits from many directions and most lead back to the growthist ideology of endless construction projects, like housing-starts.

    http://cutt.us/blightfornaught (uglier and warmer, uglier and warmer)

    http://cutt.us/beautifulwindpowerscenery (look at all that new “beauty”)


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