Lawmakers are preparing for an onslaught of last-minute rules and regulations, and more executive actions during Barack Obama’s final months in office.
It was clear back in January 2014 that Obama would be using lots of executive actions to pass laws, when he announced:
“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need. I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”
According to the Heritage Foundation, the Obama administration issued 184 major rules in its first six years, at a staggering price tag of nearly $80 billion a year. Since January of this year, the administration has finalized 60 more new rules, with 60 more in the hopper, at an additional $16.5 billion price tag for this year alone.
Now Obama is prepared to further increase the size and scope of government, not by “helping” Americans, but by hording public land. In fact, rural citizens view the government’s regulations over their land as blocking working people from earning a living.
Obama has already placed 548 million acres of land under federal protection, over twice as much as even Theodore Roosevelt, and he is expected to use additional executive actions to grab more during his last months in office.
Conservatives in state legislatures have pushed hard to take control of vast swaths of U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service land within their borders – land that the states had previously been using for ranching, mining, logging and energy development.
The federal government owns large tracts of the western states, from a low of 29.9% in Montana (already higher than the national average), up to a whopping 84.5% in Nevada. These huge tracts of land are controlled by four government agencies:
- The U.S. Forest Service for wildlife habitat protection and other sustainable uses, along with some timber mining
- The National Park Service for preservation for public use, where no resources can be removed
- The Bureau of Land Management for energy and conservation, and some grazing
- The Fish and Wildlife Service for conservation and protection of animal and plant species
All of these departments have a common theme – the protection of nearly everything but human beings.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is thrilled that Obama will be taking even more land away from the states during his final days in office.
She has vowed that if elected, states will never gain control of federal lands. At a campaign stop in Elko, Nevada this year, she dismissed the activities of the Western states to regain their land by calling the movement, “a fringe movement with a lot of anger and rhetoric.”
Then, in New Hampshire, she endorsed a plan to end fossil fuel development on federal land, telling a liberal “green” group it was “a done deal”.
Obama’s Interior Department has already stated it would halt new leases for coal mining on federal land while it figures out how to account for climate change-related costs associated with burning coal.
And a bird called the “greater sage-grouse” is a potentially massive hurdle to oil and gas production on public lands, because conservationists are shouting that they are threatened due to habitat loss.
Obama and Clinton both have successfully catered to activists in the conservation movement through his executive actions, and her support and rhetoric.
The two of them are more than happy to grab more land in support of their liberal “greenie” conservation friends, and of course, Bernie Sanders’ voters.