Thursday, February 02, 2017

Blinding Stupidity & Arrogance

 Republican lawmakers have quietly laid the foundation to give away a large portion of America’s 640m acres of national land. These may include areas around the Grand Canyon that feed the Colorado River. Arizona Republicans would like to open up surrounding mineral-rich areas for mining, while conservationists see this move as disastrous Photograph: Michele Falzone/Getty Images

Not only is this really stupid, it also would lose a lot of revenue. To whit.

At stake are areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges, which contribute to an estimated $646bn each year in economic stimulus from recreation on public lands and 6.1m jobs. Transferring these lands to the states, critics fear, could decimate those numbers by eliminating mixed-use requirements, limiting public access and turning over large portions for energy or property development.

In addition to economic stimulus from outdoor activities, federal land creates revenue through oil and gas production, logging and other industrial uses. According to the BLM, in 2016, it made $2bn in royalty revenue from federal leases. The Outdoor Industry Association estimates federal tax revenue from the recreation economy at almost $40bn.

Greed, stupidity and loss of money from land we the people own? Of resources that can never be restored once "developed". Where is Teddy when we need him? Anger does not begin to describe the feeling yours truly has about this.

Addendum: Chaffetz spiked his bill after getting serious blowback from his constituents. Awesome.

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