Congessman Pombo is on the move! With Washington distracted by scandal, and the media only able to handle one thing at a time (and preferring scandal to substance) now is the perfect time to pass legislation selling off Federal land for mining, opening the ocean shores to more drilling, gutting the ESA....and that's just the environmental stuff the public won't hear about. I'm sure the reduction in food stamps, reduced student aid, no increase in heating assistance, discussion of the eliminating the mortgage interest deduction.....
Below are clips and links to the New York Times and the Sacramento Bee regarding Pambo and his agenda:
Mr. Pombo says his proposal will help the federal budget because companies will have to pay $1,000 an acre to buy the land. But the provision is so vaguely drawn - companies, for instance, will not have to show that the land contains valuable minerals - that it could potentially expose hundreds of millions of acres, including the national forests, to development. This has nothing to do with mining, and everything to do with stealing land that is owned by the American public.
Mr. Pombo's bill would also authorize drilling in coastal areas that have been off limits for decades and sell leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But asking the oil companies themselves for money is, of course, unthinkable - Mr. Pombo would freeze the fees these companies pay to operate on public land, even as they report huge profits.
This is, in short, a sleazy piece of work, written by a man who appears to be able to conceive of property rights as something that only a private individual or a corporation can have; a man who betrays no awareness that the American public has a shared right in the refuge and the national parks and the millions of acres he wants to sell to developers. "
For more see: http://www.nytimes.com/...
And from the Sacramento Bee:
"It is back page news these days - and in many publications, not even newsworthy - that Congress is pondering whether to end a 24-year-old moratorium on additional drilling off our nation's coasts.
It ought to be news when Congress acts in secret to rewrite long-standing environmental policies. But such maneuvers, accomplished through tricks of the parliamentary trade and quickly approved without serious hearings or deliberation, have become the norm in the House of Representatives in recent years. "
For more information on Richard Pombo, there are several articles in High Country News (registration required for free access to archives) I highly recommend HCN for EVERYONE with an interest in envionmental issues: