another land grab
Take action and do your part.:)
Done from another site. Ain't it just more fun all the time:BANGHEAD2:
Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:00 am Post subject:
Passed, $10 friggen billon its going to cost You and ME
2 million acres taken, And Obama will most likely sign it
Plan to Set Aside More Wilderness Land Advances in U.S. Senate
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By Lorraine Woellert and Brian Faler
Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate, in its first order of business this year, advanced a $10 billion conservation plan that would set aside more than 2 million acres of natural wilderness and protect 1,000 miles of scenic rivers.
The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, the first piece of legislation considered by the new Senate, combines about 160 individual environmental bills in nearly 1,300 pages.
The measure “is possibly the most significant conservation legislation passed by the Senate in the past decade,” Senator Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the bill’s chief sponsor, said on the Senate floor today. Two days ago, Bingaman, a New Mexico Democrat, said the measure was “developed on a bipartisan basis” and approved by his committee in the last Senate.
The 66-12 vote overcame an effort by Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, to kill the legislation. The Senate will debate and vote on the bill’s passage this week.
Environmentalists led by the National Landscape Conservation System have rallied around the legislation. The group is an alliance of 80 environmental groups including hunters, hikers, archaeologists and ranchers. One of the legislation’s central provisions would add 2 million acres in eight states to the National Wilderness Preservation System, which currently has 107 million acres in 44 states, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The package has drawn fire from several lawmakers and interest groups who say the conservation measures would restrict access to gas and coal reserves and deepen U.S. dependence on foreign energy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and fiscal watchdog Club for Growth are among those opposing the legislation.
Oil and Natural Gas
Coburn, citing data from the Bureau of Land Management, predicted that the legislation would take about 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil out of production in Wyoming alone.
“The energy resources walled off by this bill would nearly match the annual production levels of our two largest natural gas production states--Alaska and Texas,” Coburn said in a written statement.
The bill also contains billions of dollars for special projects known as earmarks, including $1 billion for a California water project to protect salmon migration and $3.5 million for a commission to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, Florida.
Gasoline prices reached a record in July last year before declining during the following months. The average per-gallon price peaked at $4.11, according to AAA, the largest U.S. motorist group. U.S. auto sales in December plunged 36 percent, leaving the industry’s 2008 sales volume at a 16-year low. Sales of the top model of trucks made by Ford Motor Co., based in Dearborn, Michigan, and Detroit-based GM, fell 25 percent last year.
The second paragraph is important!! Still 2 more hurdles to get over. Start making phone calls!!!!!
In an unusual weekend session, the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle Sunday, January 11 toward passing an omnibus bill that would designate large tracts of new wilderness nationwide.
Senators voted 66-12 to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed to the bill (S 22), with the next step another procedural vote on Wednesday, followed by a vote on passage to be held Thursday or Friday. Sponsors have been trying to pass similar legislation for the past several months. The major obstacle to passage has been Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, who used procedural tactics to block or delay votes.
The package combines more than 160 public lands bills introduced in the 110th Congress. Senator Coburn said the bill would authorize wasteful spending and block energy production on some federal lands. He also objected to what he said was a larger trend for Democrats to block the minority from offering any amendments.
Coburn said he will continue to throw up procedural hurdles every step of the way. He said that he planned to go to the floor to talk about amendments that he would like (but is not being allowed to) offer. The bill would designate more than 2 million acres of new wilderness areas, in addition to scenic rivers, historic sites and expansions of national parks. It would authorize new water projects and allow three water settlements in Western states.
Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, is backing a provision that would withdraw about 1.2 million acres in his state from oil and gas development. He said this action will be a legacy for the late Senator Craig Thomas, who occupied Barrasso’s seat until he died in 2007. “There are certain places that are so special and so pristine that they need to be protected for future generations,” Barrasso said.
The bill would also codify a National Landscape Conservation System that President Bill Clinton established by executive order. The goal is to improve management of federal land that is already protected. A number of Republicans say this will lead to new restrictions on land use, though supporters say this is not their intent.
Several environmental groups oppose a section that would allow a new road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, providing airport access to the remote village of King Cove. The road has been a priority for the Alaska delegation and Republican Governor Sarah Palin. In a letter to Senate leadership on Friday, however, environmentalists urged support for an amendment Coburn offered to remove this part of the bill.
“The proposed road is not needed,” the groups wrote, arguing that the airport is already accessible by hovercraft.
Some of the bill’s largest new wilderness protections include:
• 517,000 acres of wilderness in Idaho’s Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands.
• About 256,000 acres of wilderness in Washington County, Utah, including in Zion National Park.
• Almost 250,0000 wilderness acres in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.
• 128,000 acres of wilderness around Mt. Hood in Oregon.
Not to mention 31,000 acres just out of Bend (Badlands) and an additional chunk up on the Lower John Day River in central Oregon.
It has to face one more proceedural vote tomorrow, then goes to the real vote Thursday or Friday. How many phone calls and e-mails can we get in??
Passed the Senate yesterday by a landslide, now headed to the House. I look for the same there.
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