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FYI.  The new House Resources Committee Reconciliation Bill would mandate Arctic Drilling and a sell-off of National Parks and other public lands.  

Pombo is relentless.

So, in addition to mandating the leasing and drilling of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Pombo's reconciliation bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to sell lands containing mineral deposits within National Parks, National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, and the National Landscape Conservation System.

The provision is contained in Section 6204 of the bill.

He's a nutbag.  Just a few days ago, Rep. Pombo was backtracking from legislation that would have sold off 15 national parks.  But now, he's trying to go about it in a more secretive way by attacking not only national parks but national wildlife refuges, and Congressionally established Wilderness for private profit.  Remember, this is about ideaology, not energy.



These are public lands.  Your lands.

The draft reconciliation package would also:

  • Open up protected areas of the Outer Continental Shelf to leasing and drilling;

  • Require the "patenting," or sale, of valuable mining claims on public lands for $1000 each  or about $50/acre;

  • Requires that 35 percent of the nation's oil shale resources be conveyed to corporations in a single fire sale;

  • Declare an unwritten environmental impact statement on oil shale development "deemed adequate" to fulfill all legal requirements;

  • Re-open provisions of the recently enacted energy policy act to require the Bureau of Land Management to "rush to judgment" in considering oil and gas drilling permits on public lands and national forests.

I dont know about you folks, but I'm getting tired of this shit.  Time to get back on the phone to your congressman and time to get yet another letter to the editor of your local paper telling them what is going on.


Originally posted to environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 02:14 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Approved. (4.00)
    The House Resources Committee approved their print of the Budget Reconciliation this afternoon.  It was approved by a vote of 24-16.  Mark Udall's amendment to strip out a lot of the bad provisions (sufficiency language for the EIS and no other enviro review for one year, mandating at least 35% of federal oil shale resources be leased in the year after BLM approves a final rule for commercial production, removal of public review provisions from energy bill, and royalty and other fee reductions) was defeated by a vote of 22-18.  Below is the recorded vote on this amendment.  There were other public land amendment votes that I did not record.

    "No" is a bad vote, "Yes" is good.

    NO-Republican (20)

    NO-Democrat (2)

    YES-Republican (2)

    YES-Democrat (16)
    Tom Udall-NM
    Mark Udall-CO

    -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

    by environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 02:14:05 PM PDT

    •  this needs to be at the top. (4.00)
      •  Something for oil companies to do (none)
        With their excess profits.  Any oil company can out-bid Coca-Cola for Yellowstone without breaking a sweat, and those which have set up geothernal subsidiaries almost will be forced to do so (not to do anything within the park, but to associate themselves with beautiful geothermal).

        We're all in this together.

        by JTML on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 05:30:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Say No to Pombo (none)
      I've blogged Pombo a couple of times, and drew the attention of the "Say No to Pombo" blog.  They have some good coverage of Dick, the two candidates in the Democratic primary, and links to other Pombo sites.

      Say No to Pombo

      I have no affiliation with them, I just fully support their goal.

      •  Selling out your children's future. (none)
        That should be a moto for the campaign against him.  The Central Valley is comservative, BUT NOT WHACKO!

        Perhaps firing up Danville/Pleasanton/Dublin and Gilroy/Morgan Hill suburbanites could oust him?

        He's so crappy on the environment, Delta fishery and water issues may work in the Central Valley.  Although I'm sure he's working on a cash cow for levee upgrading.

        Pombo is a dangerous creep.

  •  Kossaks in Tracy, Livermore and Stockton Unite (4.00)
    At least one and possibly two Democrats are running against eagle-killer Pombo in 2006. NOW is the time to come to the aid of your country! Get this guy OUT
  •  ah Pombo the clown. (none)
    This guy is without question the biggest asshole in congress.
    •  The biggest, maybe, but (none)
      not the only - otherwise the committee vote on the amendment would've been 1-39, not 22-18.

      There's no shortage of assholes. It's our job to show them for what they are. I have no doubt that the majority of Americans, whatever their political stripe, would be outraged by the thought of drilling for oil in Yellowstone, or plastering a Pepsi logo across the face of El Capitan.

      If I lived in NorCal, I'd be in front of Pombo's house in a minute.

      The guy is un-f*ing-believable.

      The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer. - Henry Kissinger

      by occams hatchet on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 07:28:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  later news stories report (4.00)
    that Pombo proposed and had adopted on a voice vote  a provision that the sales of lands would not apply to national parks, refuges, wild & scenic rivers, trails.

    However, the sale of BLM and Forest Service lands would still take place.

    •  Can you give us a link (none)
      or anything like that?  I havent seen those reports yet and would like to update the diary.

      -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:21:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, wasn't online (none)
        I don't have a link I can post, but Greenwire (a subscription only new service)reported the following:

        Approved by voice vote, Pombo's amendment affirms the sale language does not
        apply to national parks, wildlife refuges, wild and scenic rivers, national
        trails, national conservation areas, national recreation areas, national
        monuments or federal wilderness areas.

        This doesn't make things fine -- but it removes the easy targets for his critics.  The real goal is to remove the moratorium on the selling of mining claims,and to create more private inholdings in federal lands...

  •  Looks like (none)
    my rep Bill Baird will be hearing from me again on these issues.  Not that I'm worried about his vote.  Would somebody please drop Pombo in a pool full of pirhanas.

    Theocracy is tyranny

    by Druidica on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 02:36:17 PM PDT

  •  Ideaology NOT Energy (4.00)
    I want to make this point again and again.

    Today, we saw a Paradigm shift - the cause of high gas prices, from the horse's mouth (,1299,DRMN_4_4186932,00.html):

    ... the industry blames the lag in oil and natural gas production on an acute shortage in drilling rigs and labor that is holding up companies' aggressive drilling on permits issued by the commission. Companies point out that a shortage of land rigs in the United States is pushing energy firms to import rigs from Italy and China.

    And so....

    "We need to have more permits and drill more wells to keep up with production," Zimmerman said. "I don't see companies purposely sitting on permits, not drilling with them. But there are only so many rigs and so many crews. . . . There's a shortage on the services side that is delaying us in getting our wells drilled in a timely manner."

    So what about those pesky environmental regulations Pombo is always on about?


    Colorado is set to approve a record number of permits to drill oil and natural gas wells this year, but the swelling permits won't translate into significantly higher supplies and lower prices of oil and natural gas.

    Again, the new math: more drilling = higher prices. In fact, the Wyoming Pipeline Authority's mission statement includes a line about the desire to raise the price of natural gas. Read all about it at .

    So if drilling isn't the answer, how do we lower costs for consumers? I've heard it said that relying more on energy efficient technologies and renewable energy like wind farms is the fastest, cheapest, most reliable way to save natural gas, lower costs and protect the environment ... seems silly but....

    (See and )

    -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

    by environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 02:44:46 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, that's the ticket... (none)
      use even more straws to suck every last limited drop that much does this help us out in the long-term again?  F-ng brilliant.

      Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. - T. Roosevelt

      by ranger31 on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:40:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wind and nuclear (none)
      The fossil fuel companies are laughing at those of us who are protesting the destruction of the American West, because they know that we drive trucks that burn gasoline and they know that we live in houses heated by natural gas, and they know we use electricity made by burning dirty brown coal.

      And they also know that each year fossil fuel use is going to grow if it continues at the present rate.

      We need every form of energy we can find, starting with conservation, that doesn't put billions of tons of carbon and greenhouse gases into the environment while destroying the landscape and damaging habitat and the water table.

      The cleanest and least environmentally damaging sources of energy are wind and nuclear.

      It takes 150,000 acres of wind turbines to put out 1,000 megawatts of electricity.  Capacity factor for wind=32%.  

      It takes 35,000 acres of photovoltaic solar cells to make 1,000 megawatts of electricity. Capacity factor for solar=24%.  Land thus covered cannot be habitat.

      It takes about one-third of a square mile for all the buildings necessary for a nuclear plant that has a capacity of 1,000 megawatts and that operates at over 90% capacity (as most nuclear plants do today).  That electricity can be used to charge electric automobiles and run trains at a cost that is cheaper than coal.  And that electricity can be used to heat homes instead of natural gas.

      Radiation exposure in homes that use natural gas for heating and cooking: 9 millirem per year.

      Radiation exposure, on average, from coal combustion: 1-4 millirem per year.

      Radiation exposure, on average, from nuclear power plants:  .009 millirem per year.

      Unlike fossil fuel waste, which is stored in the environment and in your tissues, nuclear waste is shielded and isolated.

      Unlike fossil fuel mining and drilling, which wrecks the landscape on a large scale, uranium mining requires a relatively small footprint.  But we don't even need to mine it in the US.  We are converting 500 tons of old Soviet warhead uranium into reactor fuel by blending it down.  We haven't even touched our own US stockpile of highly enriched uranium that grows as we dismantle nuclear weapons.  

      When I see what is being done to ranch land and public lands, and when I hear about the potential destruction of pristine lands like the Valle Vidal in New Mexico, and when I think about the catastrophe of global climate disruption these fossil fuels are wreaking, I pray that people begin to understand the seriousness of the choices we have to make.

  •  Here's some good (4.00)
    environmental news...while I search out the email I got with a link to send letters about the issue in this diary....

    I got this from EarthJustice: "the "Dirty Air" measure failed to pass the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee on a vote of 9-9, with Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) joining all eight Democrats on the committee to block the measure." This is good, I'll post again in a second when I find the link to email about this...

    •  Not exactly what (4.00)
      I was looking for...but this is important too:

      "Yesterday, we told you about the new UCS Scientific Integrity Program, which is charged with defending government science from political interference. And late last night, we learned of one way that you can already help influence the debate. But you have to act fast.

      Later today or tomorrow, the United States Senate will vote on an amendment to the bill that funds the Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education Departments to prevent them from using political litmus tests for federal science advisory committee candidates. Amendment #2228, offered by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), will also prevent the departments from disseminating scientific information that is deliberately false or misleading.

      Please call your senator today or tomorrow to express your support for the Durbin Amendment #2228 to prevent these departments from using political litmus tests to select federal science advisory committee members"

      That's from Union of Concerned Scientists.

  •  Ideology Not Energy (4.00)
    Exactly right.  From The Hill
    Senate Republican leaders intend to make oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) the main selling point of their $35 billion reconciliation package.

    The plan, which assumes a political liability can be turned into a political winner, is a response to internal GOP polling that shows voters care more about gas prices than caribou.

    Leaders hope the strategy, in addition to selling the spending cuts, will allow them to gain an advantage over Democrats in the rhetorical battle over high energy prices, which political observers say is largely responsible for President Bush's and Congress's low standings in opinion polls.

    Republicans say they can split the liberal, anti-drilling, coastal Democrats and environmentalists away from party centrists and some labor groups who support exploration in ANWR.
    The ANWR strategy was unveiled to the Republican Conference yesterday after leadership meetings on the subject, including one Santorum held last week with the conference's communications leaders, Sens. Trent Lott (Miss.), Larry Craig (Idaho) and Jon Kyl (Ariz.), according to a person who attended.

    Santorum, Lott, Craig and Kyl discussed GOP surveys showing that jobs and the economy have become a greater concern to voters and that the public strongly associates the strength of the economy with gas prices, the source said.

    GOP polling shows that voters view Arctic drilling less as an environmental issue and more as an economic issue, arguing that the Senate can finally approve oil and gas drilling in the wilderness reserve this fall after many failures.

    Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) said he had seen the opinion data on the economy and Arctic drilling in a meeting with the leadership. "There's been a fairly seismic shift on ANWR," he said, a 15- to 20-point shift in support for drilling. A majority now supports drilling, he said, whereas previous nationwide surveys showed most people opposed it.

    "Whoever gets out in front and is very aggressive in defining solutions [for high energy prices] ... is going a long way to being viewed as responsive to problems that face the American public," Thune said.


    •  Hopefully the lame MSM will inform (none)
      the public that ANWR oil won't be available for many years and even then it's questionable how much oil is there.  And what happened to the amendment that allowed selling ANWR oil to overseas markets?
    •  I havent seen polls that would support (4.00)
      Thune's assertion.  But he is correct in saying that being aggressive is making a difference.  Unfortunately, he  is full of shit when he  says its about defining solutions.  The republicans have not offered one real solution.  Instead, they have been very aggressive in laying blame.  And as I noted a few comments up thread, laying the blame on enviros and enviro regulations is nothing but a smokescreen.

      The problem is that we can't ward off the attack dogs by talking about why prices are so high. The reason prices are high is that demand has stayed high/even, while supply has dropped.

      There are two causes for the drop in supply - long-term, and short-term.  The long-term cause is that North America is running out of gas. The old wells in Texas and the Gulf are running dry, and Rocky Mountain wells are "marginal" - most of them are half empty in two years; that means you have
      to double the number of wells you drill EVERY YEAR just to keep supply flat. The short-term cause are the hurricanes, which took out 50% of national supply.  If we get into a debate with industry about prices, we will lose.

      The fact is that record amounts of drilling throughout the West has failed to reduce prices.  Because drilling has failed, the sacrifice of the West's ranchers, hunters and others is bitter and useless. The only way to bring down gas prices is by reducing demand through investments in efficiency, and the rapid deployment of renewable energy like wind farms.  As Jerome and others have pointed out, the wind farms installed in the U.S. as of today save more than 180 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year. If we aggressively installed more wind farms over the next five years, we could save more than 3 billion cubic feet per day - about as much natural gas as the states of Colorado and
      Alaska produce today, or almost 5% of national demand.  In tight gas markets, a drop in demand of just 2% can lead to price reductions of up to 25%.

      Selling off the national parks will do nothing.  Thune is a liar when he says they've offered solutions.  They have effectively laid the blame.

      -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:19:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  outrageous (4.00)
    And yes, environmentalist, I, too, am getting mighty tired of all this. In fact, I'm quite sure that's what they want -- us to get very tired of all of this. I am a founding member of the Alliance for Historic Wyoming, a citizens' advocacy organization recently created specifically to fight for the cultural and historic sites on these public lands that very often get overlooked in the debate. In Wyoming, we have the best remaining stretches of pristine ruts from the Oregon-California-Mormon Pioneer Historic Trails and they are under constant threat now from drilling. We work closely with the state's environmental groups in protesting a lot of this stuff, sending out action alerts and filing appeals of rotten decisions. We're all just volunteers and it's very hard to keep up with every threat they come up with. Exhausting work but, unfortunately, absolutely essential if these resources are to be saved.

    Well, time for another phone call to Cubin's DC office. Of course, I know she would never deviate from the Pombo line. She's just an automaton for the party line of destruction.

    We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

    by kainah on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:01:42 PM PDT

    •  Hmmm... that must require careful phrasing. (none)

      In Wyoming, we have the best remaining stretches of pristine ruts from the Oregon-California-Mormon Pioneer Historic Trails and they are under constant threat now from drilling.

      Might I suggest "history wagon trails" rather than ruts?  I'm not sure how sympathetic the public would be to preserving wagon ruts, regardless of the historic significance.

      •  ruts and swales (none)
        Ruts and swales are very specific terms that have a well-understood meaning to historians and those who study the 19th century westward emigration.

        When you have stood in the ruts carved in the earth by the wheels of the wagons of half a million emigrants heading west to the "promised land," you know a rut, you love the ruts, and it's not the least bit hard to advocate for them.

        I could introduce you to literally hundreds of people who would happily call themselves "rut nuts" -- and I am one of them, as well. No problem at all.

        We need not stride resolutely towards catastrophe, merely because those are the marching orders. -- Noam Chomsky

        by kainah on Thu Oct 27, 2005 at 02:02:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pearce in NM - groan (none)
    What is with this guy?  He never saw a bad environmental or NAFTA-SHAFTA bill he could resist.  Why do folks in SW NM put up with him?  His only possible constituency would be conservative ranchers (ain't got lots of rick folk down here), but even they must be getting nervous about gas and oil drilling wrecking the ranching way of life.  A lot of ranchers depend on BLM land for grazing allotments, but sounds like the cows are gonna get the boot for the derricks.  Cows ain't great, but they sure are better than oil and gas fields.
  •  Re: Mr. Pombo and Mr. DeLay -- (4.00)
    Markos just posted on the main page that DeLay misreported contributions to his legal defense fund...

    "October 26, 2005 WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Tom DeLay failed to comply with House requirements that he disclose all contributions to a defense fund that pays his legal bills, the Texas Republican acknowledged to House officials.

    He wrote officials that $20,850 contributed in 2000 and 2001 was not reported anywhere. Another $17,300 was included in the defense fund's quarterly report but not in DeLay's 2000 annual financial disclosure report -- a separate requirement."

    Now, while looking for ties to Pombo and DeLay, I found this posting from the DCCC (see bullet points 1 and 6):

    1    Contributions from ARMPAC:    $5,020

    2    Voting percentage with DeLay:
    calculated through:    95%

    3    Vote to weaken ethics rules:
    H Res. 5, Roll Call #6, 1/4/05    YES

    4    Vote to repeal weakened ethics rules:
    H Res. 241, Roll Call #145, 4/27/05    YES

    5    Votes to table Democratic solution:
    H. Res. 153, Roll Call #70, 3/15/05
    H. Res. 213, Roll Call #106, 4/14/05     YES, YES

    6    Donations to DeLay's Legal Defense Fund:,     $5,000

    So, am I to understand that Pombo received $5K and a Jackson from ARMPAC, and then redirected the $5K to DeLay's legal defense fund, keep the $20 for a triple Whopper with cheese, large fries, and chocolate milkshake?  Nifty.

    Maybe this is one of DeLay's m.o.'s -- give ARMPAC money to House collaborators, and get the money back for his legal defense in slightly different denominations.

    Dude should open a laundrymat.  And Pombo should be called to account.

    •  Interesting. (none)
      These people are crooks.  Crooks and liars.  And they run our country.  It staggers the imagination.  A few weeks ago, I took on Pombo here:

      Its not so much about donations and money laundering but instead how he lies about his own past to make his ideaological point.

      -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:10:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not just DeLay! (none)
      What name has to be drug in with any mention of a corrupt Republican?  That's right, Pombo do know Jack!  To quote myself:
      It turns out Jack Abramoff gave $2,000 to Pombo, and $5,000 to Pombo's PAC shortly after Pombo became Chairman of the House Resources Committee. Yeah, so?

      The House Resources Committee has jurisdiction of Native American affairs. Yeah, so?

      As Chairman of the Resources Committee, Pomob has the authority to refuse to hold hearings on Abramoff's extensive dealings with Native American tribes, in spite of Senate hearings being held on this issue and a federal criminal investigation. Which is exactly what he's done, because he's a corrupt assclown.

      Hmmmmmmmmm . . .

      Man, it does me good to see the Pombo love that's flowing in this thread.
  •  Crimes Against Nature (none)

    George W. Bush will go down as the worst environmental president in U.S. history, says Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

     R. F. K. Jr.
    Interviewed By Jeff Fleischer

    NDRC Sues to Protect Whales...

  •  The likes of Pombo have it easy... (4.00)
    ...they can wait and wait and wait, then spring this kind of crap when attention is focused elsewhere.

    We, on the other hand, must be vigilant every single minute. Drop our guard, just once, and they step right in and sell off the national patrimony, which, of course, is always lost to us once they have their hands on it.

    Kudos on your Diary.

    •  Amazing. (4.00)
      The Amazing thing about Pombo that he doesnt even wait for cover anymore.  He is relentless.  Its incredible.  NEPA, ESA, sell off the national parks last week and  now this.  We cant let our guard down and thank God there are so many good people working on this because its exhausting!

      Our bill on the Valle Vidal goes before Pombo tomorrow afternoon.  I  avoided the trip to DC but I fear my companions are in for a beating.

      -9.0,-5.54 A real soldier died in his Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:30:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Like the corporations that they represent n/t (none)
  •  Local NPR station did whole (4.00)
    segment on this issue yesterday morning here in Pensacola and I just felt like crying.  Can't imagine going to Yellowstone or Yosemite again and seeing Coca Cola, Wendy's, or Citgo signs on the park benches or women's restrooms or anywhere else for that matter.  

    This is such an important issue, our grandchildren should see what is left of our natural earth as we have seen it, green and untouched.

    Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. Naomi Shihab Nye

    by panicbean on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:30:38 PM PDT

  •  Ah Heck, Let's Just Buy It (none)
    Let's just get disgustingly rich, and then we can buy anything in this principle-free land.

    Even our own brand of justice.

    For example, every last political-polluter sentenced to the rest of their lives washing oil off of ducks... And they'd better be nice to the ducks.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:47:18 PM PDT

  •  Isn't he the guy that complained about a trail (none)
    accross his land that actually wasn't on his land?
  •  The League of Conservation Voters, (none)
    here, has good dish on Pombo.

    It is also important to support our reps who are doing a good job. Jay Inslee (WA-04 (see first comment) for instance, is rated 100% by the LCV. Digging a little further, that 100% stands for something.

    -7.88, -7.74 In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

    by melvin on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 03:51:42 PM PDT

  •  Hey! Look over there---->>>>>> (none)
    Cuz THE Terrorists want to make you WALK to work!

    We need YOUR land so that the oil industry, the gas industry, the NukeUlear industry, the timber and mining companies, can keep you ..cough US...comfy.

    "from the Redwood forest to the New York Island..this land was made for you and me.."

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:09:12 PM PDT

    •  And if you're in DC and not doing anything (4.00)
      Maybe you'd want to show up for THIS:


      For Immediate Release:
      October 26, 2005
      Contact Brian Kennedy at (202) 226-9019

      News Conference Tomorrow on
      Inclusion of ANWR in House Budget Reconciliation

      Washington, DC - House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) will hold a news conference tomorrow morning with Chuck Harple of the Teamsters and Inupiat Eskimo leaders from the North Slope on the inclusion of ANWR in the House Budget Reconciliation Package.

      The Resources Committee passed its portion of the House Budget Reconciliation package today, which will open 2000 acres of ANWR's northern coastal plain to energy development.

      WHO: House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA)
                  Chuck Harple, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
                  Inupiat Eskimo Leaders from Alaska's North Slope        
                  *Other Members TBA

      WHAT: News conference on inclusion of ANWR in House Budget Reconciliation package

      WHEN: 9:15 a.m.

      WHERE: Cannon House Office Building Terrace

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:24:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i love walking to work (none)
      except when bloomberg/bushco put out terror alerts -- then the brooklyn bridge pedestrian walkway gets crowded :)
  •  3 more years (4.00)
    Seems like 3 more decades. :(
  •  Focus On the Appointees (4.00)
    Pombo is a schmuck, but let's not forget the Bush appointees who are driving this train:

    Deputy Assistant Secretary Fish Wildlife and Parks Paul Hoffman--Completely in bed with the off road vehicle industry and author of policy drafts that would make four-wheeling a primary purpose of National Parks.  Let's not forget he wants to stop rangers from speaking about evolution.

    Deputy Assistant Secretary Fish Wildlife and Parks Julie MacDonald--the anti-science zealot who drives Bushite wildlife  and science policy--into the bath to be drowned and drained.  She is responsible, with Pombo, to permanently gut the Endangered Species Act.

    The MSM needs to look at the activities of these two and report.  They have, in tandem had a more significant impact on moral in the Interior Department than James Watt ever did.

  •  Dirt Cheap! (none)
    Federal lands containing mineral deposits that can be demonstrably extracted for a profit are sold for next to nothing... usually less than $5 an acre or so under an old 1872 law.

    The way the ruse works is that a company submits a proposal showing that a certain mineral can be profitably mined... the land is sold for nothing... then the company does something completely different with the land. Vail was acquired that way.

    The thing to do now is to have someone assay Mt. Rushmore. We write up a proposal for mining whatever it is that can be mined there... and then demand to buy it immediately after this bill takes effect (should it come to pass).

    As a private property, the site can either actually be mined, or perhaps it can be maintained as a theme park... perhaps the faces of a few corporate execs could be added to the mountain, after blowing up the images of those old politicians first of course.

    That should be an image that even Joe Sixpack can understand.

    •  Some might (none)
      think your suggestion is facetious. I think it's either brilliant, or necessary:

      Brilliant: We make a very graphic point about the absurdity of the bill

      Necessary: We barely get in ahead of some avaricious developer who's already got the same idea.

      Let's not lose any time on this . . .

      The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer. - Henry Kissinger

      by occams hatchet on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 08:46:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The possibilities (none)
        are endless! The Statue of Liberty is a national monument too... because the island is fairly small, it could probably be acquired for just a few bucks! Perhaps the National Historic sites and Military Parks would be eligible too... imagine... Gettysburg, Valley Forge, The Little Big Horn... all available for the taking! We could take it right to Washington in fact, and stake a claim to the Washington Monument, there's bound to be some useful mineral there (perhaps manure!).
  •  One wonders... (none)
    ...why anyone woudld not see that protecting these precious resources is more important than short term profits.  All bow down to corporate profits.  I could never be a good Rethuglican.

    Be the creature. (But not a Republican.) blogomni

    by boran2 on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 04:59:58 PM PDT

  •  Park policy revisions and naming rights (4.00)
    Other matters currently in play are revisions to the basic mandate and core policies of the National Park system.  Praxxus wrote a diary the other day - More details emerge on park rules changes - on that topic, with links to a NYT editorial.

    And according to the Cortez (CO) Journal, the Park Service will be accepting public comments on the new rules for 90 days.  On Nov. 1, the Senate Energy Subcommittee on National Parks will review the latest revisions.

    So both would be another place to send those cards and letters.  

    As a commenter noted upthread, the National Parks Conservation Association, among many other National Park boosters, will be encouraging people to speak out.

    BTW, corporate naming rights opportunities could become even more, er, dynamic and enriching if an upcoming  two-year study of atomic bomb sites concludes that Los Alamos and/or Oak Ridge should join the roster.  (Snarksters, commence.)

  •  Last I heard Pombo's (none)
    shit won't float in the Senate.  That includes attacks on ESA, NEPA, and now this crap.  Let's hope that's still true.

    Thanks Environmentalist for keeping us informed about these important developments.

  •  Hoffman a hack (4.00)
    And Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, Department of the Interior, Paul Hoffman in a Bush hack of the first order.

    I live up there when he was Director of the Cody, WY Chamber of Commerce.  Generally considered to be inept and a dumb ass.  Now he's making national policy that will ruin public lands (which he used to recreate on, according to the press release the Feds put out when he was nominated. Make him highly qualified, of course!)

    He proposed most of these abominations earlier this year, and after Hoffman's proposed "reforms" set off a firestorm of criticism from Park Service employees and members of Congress--"The inmates are in charge of the asylum," one Park Service retiree complained--the Bush administration claimed that Hoffman's suggestions were "no longer in play" and that he had merely been playing "devil's advocate."

  •  Mistress Masham's Repose (none)
    is a book by T.H. White.  The heroine is a 10-year-old orphan and heiress named Maria who is under the guardianship of an evil vicar named Mr. Hater and his henchwoman, Miss Brown.  They are after her money, but beyond that, they take great pleasure in destroying or damaging everything that Maria enjoys.  When I read this diary, I thought of Mr. Hater and Miss Brown--doing harm for the sake of it. It's somewhat comforting to remember that Mr. Hater and Miss Brown eventually get their comeuppance.

    Our National Parks! WTF?  Didn't these guys go on family trips when they were growing up?  (Probably not, but that's no excuse.)  Anyone who tries to commercialize and degrade our National Parks must be voted out of office.  They are supposed to be stewards, not destroyers.

  •  I fear that regardless of who is in office, (4.00)
    Americans will choose to rape our Mother Earth if it means cheaper energy prices.  Most Americans don't use national parkland, and many don't even know what the fuck they are - so it is no surprise that they don't care that they're being sold off.

    This matter is so depressing I don't even want to read about it.  I only become ill.  None of these assholes understands the spirituality of wilderness and nature, all they see is money signs and political power.  It's just sick sick sick.

    -7.38, -5.90 "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" - Kurt Cobain

    by Subterranean on Wed Oct 26, 2005 at 08:15:24 PM PDT

  •  it's part of the crumbling of our society (4.00)
    Museums and other intstitutions are selling off art and their other treasures as well, to raise funds.

    The country as a whole is cash poor and we are selling off our collective family heirlooms stay above water.

    I think this terrible trend goes hand in hand with deficit spending, tax cuts for the ultra rich, no wage growth, etc. The only people who will be able to appreciate beauty, both natural and man made, will be the ultra rich. We are so slipping fast into another gilded age.

  •  Wonderful diary. (4.00)
    Let's make sure Pombo is not in office after the next election.
  •  This just proves how broke we are. (none)
    We all know that companies have more rights than citizens, right?( Don't even fuckin argue that one with me, we all know it.) Well, guess what... they do. As government looks after those that matter most(the ones with the most rights, cause hay, elections cost money yo!), they do what they can to keep the status quo going.
    If they go broke, we go broke too. Cuz we work for em, dunchaknow?
    So, the solution is to keep the big industiries, ie, energy, medicine, afloat as long as possible(before we all go broke, cause then it would be hard to get elected).

    I say fuck that. We're delaying the inevitable.(OMG DELAYing, lol.)Anyway...
    I'd rather be broke now than later at this pace. At least if we act CONSERVATIVELY(to conserve) we might be able to live off the land... Ya'know, before we strip mine it and steal all the lumber.

    Yeah, sorry, I really do think we're that screwed.

  •  Please provide actual Bill No. and link (none)
    Hard to talk to your Congressman if you don't have a bill number.
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