Fairbanks News Miner by Matt Buxton.
After local mayors raised concerns over how the state’s natural gas pipeline deal could deprive communities of millions in property taxes, Gov. Sean Parnell (NGP Photo) established a board tasked with reviewing the pipeline.
Parnell signed an order creating the Municipal Advisory Gas Project Review Board, which will “develop a framework for assessing the impact and benefits, especially on communities, of a future Alaska natural gas line,” according to a press release Tuesday.
OP-Ed by Joseph Cafariello. The EU’s 28 member states have mandated that the European Commission come up with a plan within three months to outline ways in which Europe can satisfy its energy needs without continued reliance on Russia. (Energy Nation says, "Tell Congress To Increase LNG Exports"; Photo: Map of Ukraine gas pipelines bringing gas from Russia to the EU states.)
|U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, yesterday called the proposed EPA wetlands rule unfair, unwise and unnecessary.’ (Murkowski also opposes EPA rule.)
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (NGP Photo), yesterday called on the Obama administration to expand U.S. energy exports and unshackle the nation’s energy policies to spur economic activity and improve its geopolitical standing.
Obama Administration selective enforcement of wildlife laws re: Energy. Hearing today. See letter.
Comment: A careful reading of this "Monuments" Op-Ed analysis -- released today -- would lead one to believe that Alaska is the poster child for massive federal government land ownership. We believe this analysis demonstrates why the huge monument designations in the state should be found to be illegal.
Proclaiming vast land areas in Alaska to have massive restrictions under the Antiquities Act has removed multiple use and access to millions of acres that do not conform to the "historical" and "cultural" guidelines by which they were designated.
Lastly, the Alaska Statehood Act was based in large measure on Alaskans' ability to make a living from the natural resources of the state. While this concept referred more specifically to the 104.5 million acres specifically allocated to the state, Alaskans had traditionally survived and subsisted in part on use of what were, following statehood, multiple use federal lands.
To, thus, restrict land access and use in the 49th state and elsewhere by presidential fiat, without approval either of Congress or the citizens of the affected state, is a gross misuse of the power to designate "National Monuments" under the Antiquities Act and a frontal attack on States' Rights. -dh
Roll Call Op-Ed by Reps. Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Steve Daines (MT-At Large)
March 25, 2014
The Antiquities Act was established in 1906 as a way for the president to single-handedly create new national monuments. The law provides the president with the express authority to proclaim “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” as national monuments, “the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
Today, the new era of national monuments consist of vast swaths of vacant federal land, not specific structures or landmarks.
The Antiquities Act followed on the heels of Westward Expansion, which brought looting and vandalism upon antiquities found on public land throughout newer states and former territories. The environmental laws and protections we have today, such as the National Historic Preservation Act, were not yet in existence, and the president needed a way to expeditiously protect federal lands under imminent threat. The very first national monument was established just three months after the law was enacted. President Theodore Roosevelt designated 1,152 acres in Wyoming as the Devils Tower National Monument. In the 108 years since, the law has been used a total of 137 times by 15 presidents.
While the intended purpose of the Antiquities Act is to protect artifacts of cultural and historic significance, it has been used over the past 108 years as a political arrow in the quiver of many presidents. The act has allowed both Democratic and Republican presidents to work outside of the transparent public process that all other individuals and federal agencies must follow. This is one of the law’s major flaws.
We don’t disagree that many of the spaces and places protected over the last century are worthy of national monument designations. However, not all of these designations were made with public involvement or widespread local support. Federal designations have too great of an impact on local communities for them to be made without the involvement of those closest to the ground. If the proposed designation has widespread support at the local level, presidents shouldn’t have a problem moving the designation through a public process.
In Congress, our committees and subcommittees hear from expert witnesses and local officials as part of legislative review. If the committee review process is positive, bills are more likely to move through the system. If committee reviews go badly, bills are rightfully stalled until the sticking points are addressed. Presidents are not subjected to these same checks and balances when it comes to the Antiquities Act. They are not required to engage the public throughout the process.
Like Congress, the president ought to formally be required to consider the input of local communities and states prior to declaring new national monuments. The inequity of unilateral action lends itself to heavy political influence and pressure from special interests. This is why we are supporting the Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act, which would require the application of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) to future national monument designations.
Though NEPA is another law largely in need of reform, public participation is at the core of its process, and by making this a requirement of future monument declarations we can ensure that those on the ground have a say in the process. The American people deserve to have input on new policies and laws that will affect their communities and livelihoods. The legislation importantly gives everyone a voice in the process, not just those who happen to have the ear of the president.
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will hold a hearing at 10 a.m. EDT today on how the United States can responsibly export natural gas to create high-paying jobs and turn the United States into an energy superpower.
Last week, the Russian government sanctioned Sen. Landrieu from entering Russia.The Senator vowed that the sanction would not stop her pushing to expand domestic energy production, responsibly increase energy exports around the world and continue supporting our allies and lovers of democracy.
Washington Post Editorial. DEBATE HAS raged over whether the United States can fight Vladimir Putin on the Russian president’s most favorable ground: energy politics. It can, and it should, particularly because there’s an obvious path forward that coincides with the United States’ — indeed, the world’s — economic interests. That path is lifting irrational restrictions on exports and making it easier to build natural gas export terminals.
Comment: This comment and our archives will supplement the adjacent story.
Late last year we began documenting with more and more detail the relationship of socialist and environmental extremism to the current administration in Washington.
Here is a recent link that, in turn, links back to John Podesta, George Soros, the Center for American Progress and other groups that contribute to the corruption of the Rule of Law in the United States.
Powerline Blog (3/22/14) ... a still deeper level of corruption is on display here. Juliet Eilperin is a reporter for the Washington Post who covers, among other things, environmental politics. As I wrote in my prior post, she is married to Andrew Light. Light writes on climate policy for the Center for American Progress, a far-left organization that has carried on a years-long vendetta against Charles and David Koch on its web site, Think Progress. Light is also a member of the Obama administration, as Senior Adviser to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the Department of State. The Center for American Progress is headed by John Podesta, who chaired Barack Obama’s transition team and is now listed as a ‘special advisor’ to the Obama administration. Note that Ms. Eilperin quoted Podesta, her husband’s boss, in her puff piece on Tom Steyer. Oh, yes–one more thing. Guess who sits on the board of the Center for American Progress? Yup. Tom Steyer.”
Fairbanks News Miner Guest Editorial by Gubernatorial Candidate Bill Walker (NGP Photo). Here we go again. With another gubernatorial election we get another gas line study (Senate Bill 138) designed to fool voters into thinking there’s progress on gas line development.
While the live event is sold out, NGP readers can attend the virtual event on line by going here. The Prayer Breakfast coverage begins at 8 this morning, which is noon EDT.
We have attended and covered these events in the past.
Question. Why would we do that? Answer. We make occasional reference to the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent creator of the Universe here because we are lost in the chaos of temporal issues without Him.
American and Canadian energy projects, family plans, company investments, government coordination and all other human endeavors can only go well in the long run with men and women of faith who seek God's wisdom and petition Him to direct our paths.
The alternative, with apologies to Thomas Carlyle for use of his term, can only lead one, one's family, one's project or one's nation into a life of "dismal science". -dh
On another but somehow related subject is a video designed solely to inspire and entertain the many loyal followers of "Northern Gas Pipelines". Sit back, hold onto your chair, take a deep breath and listen to this Italian angel whose voice seems -- but is really not -- inconsistent with her uniform:
Alaska Dispatch. A Californian withdrew his name from an Alaska board on which membership is reserved for Alaskans, but a Texan is still seeking confirmation to another Alaska board. ... Seeking confirmation now to a seat on the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. is Richard Rabinow of Houston, Texas.