View Full Version : Harry Reid’s Land Grab by Amanda Carpenter

01-11-2009, 10:17 AM
Amanda Carpenter's Biography:

Amanda Carpenter is a National Political Reporter for Townhall.com, the leading online publication for news, opinion, and talk.
She is the author of The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy's Dossier on Hillary Clinton, published by Regnery in October 2006.
Miss Carpenter has made numerous media appearances that include segments on the BBC, Fox News Hannity & Colmes, The Big Story with John Gibson, "The O'Reilly Factor," "Red Eye," and MSNBCs Tucker and "Hardball."
She is a graduate of Ball State University, where she founded a hard-hitting conservative news website, bsyou.net, and won honors as a national debate champion.

Its hard to pinpoint the worst part of the public lands legislation bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling up for an under-the-radar Sunday vote.

The 1200-page, pork-laden, $10 billion proposal locks up millions of acres of energy-rich property by designating it as environmentalist-friendly federal wilderness area where not even as much as a bicycle would be permitted to travel across the land. Many of these areas recently became available when the ban on domestic drilling in Western states expired last fall and the liberal left couldnt muster the courage to keep it in place due to rising energy prices. Now Democratic leaders are using different legislative strategies to put a new kind of ban in place.

One Republican House staffer put it this way: Reid is going to make it federal land so no one can touch it. Hes locking up the equivalent of ANWR.

The bill, S.22 "Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009," would cordon off more than 3 million acres from energy leasing by restricting various areas as federal wilderness or wild and scenic river ways.
Since the price of gasoline has dropped and attention has diverted to other matters, such as President-elect Barack Obamas inauguration, Leader Reid has made the land grab a priority and is calling members of the Senate back to Washington on Sunday to rush it through. And the bill, which is basically an omnibus compilation of pet projects and land seizures sponsored by individual House members and senators, has wide-ranging, bipartisan support since it helps many of them secure support from stakeholders in their home states and districts.

For example, one piece of the bill that has drawn the ire of the Wall Street Journal is a provision sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.). Hed like to make a robust, container shipping port located in his districts Taunton River into a scenic tourist destination. This would have the liberally convenient side effect of killing a proposal to create a terminal to import liquefied natural gas.

Then, as to be expected in an omnibus bill, theres the pork. California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.) is requesting $461 million to legally settle a dispute over the San Joaquin River with the environmentalist group Natural Resources Defense Council. The money would be used for a water project that has the minimum goal of restoring 500 salmon to the river. (Thats nearly $1 million per fish!) Montana Sen. Jon Tester (D.) wants $5 million to fund a Wolf Compensation and Prevention Program to assist property owners use non-lethal measures to prohibit wolves from killing their livestock.

The lands bill chief opponent Republican Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) argues its foolish to add acreage to the federal governments responsibility when it cant even properly manage treasured properties like the Statue of Liberty or National Mall appropriately. And, were not exactly suffering from a shortage of wilderness, his spokesman John Hart said in a conversation with Townhall.

Coburn has drafted 13 amendments to the bill, but Reid is not allowing him to offer a single one of them. One of them is a common-sense measure to just require that the current maintenance backlogs of government property be brought up to date.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) is urging his fellow Republicans to just skip the vote, as a means of opposing the bill and drawing attention to the fact its been more than 120 days since Reid allowed a GOP amendment to be accepted on the floor.

Several Republicans, however, have their own projects in the bill making it a difficult vote to skip. Republican Sen. John Barasso of Wyoming, who is typically a reliable conservative vote, has a provision tucked away in the bill to withdraw 1.2 million acres of state land from mineral leasing and energy exploration, where 8.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 331 million barrels of recoverable oil are estimated to exist.

01-12-2009, 10:18 AM
The Senate rammed it through yesterday on a 66-12 vote we can only hope the House will allow some debate, as the expansions will surely affect wheeling and access to our public lands. The bill or collection of bills have been in the works for quite awhile and I have sent my comments in to our politicians but with no debate on the floor it sailed through. The bill inclues the addtiton of Bill Clintons childhood home as a national historic site.

01-12-2009, 10:30 AM
Harry Reid is one of the worst of the slobber mouthed liberals. Albeit the real goal of this is to further America's dependence on Middle East oil the overall result is to take away land from the Public and that includes us Jeepers. I notice we have been overwhelmed with notices from our fine AZ off road organizations:drummer:

01-12-2009, 10:44 AM
See the full text @ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c111:1:./temp/~c111QWb8t0:e549596:
This is what I could find affecting land in Arizona:


Section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(a)) (as amended by section 1852) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`(205) FOSSIL CREEK, ARIZONA- Approximately 16.8 miles of Fossil Creek from the confluence of Sand Rock and Calf Pen Canyons to the confluence with the Verde River, to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture in the following classes:

`(A) The approximately 2.7-mile segment from the confluence of Sand Rock and Calf Pen Canyons to the point where the segment exits the Fossil Spring Wilderness, as a wild river.

`(B) The approximately 7.5-mile segment from where the segment exits the Fossil Creek Wilderness to the boundary of the Mazatzal Wilderness, as a recreational river.

`(C) The 6.6-mile segment from the boundary of the Mazatzal Wilderness downstream to the confluence with the Verde River, as a wild river.'.


Section 5(a) of the National Trails System Act (16 U.S.C. 1244(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:


`(A) IN GENERAL- The Arizona National Scenic Trail, extending approximately 807 miles across the State of Arizona from the U.S.-Mexico international border to the Arizona-Utah border, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Arizona National Scenic Trail' and dated December 5, 2007, to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and appropriate State, tribal, and local governmental agencies.

`(B) AVAILABILITY OF MAP- The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Forest Service.'.


(a) Definitions- In this section:

(1) APPRAISAL REPORT- The term `appraisal report' means the appraisal report concerning the augmentation alternatives for the Sierra Vista Subwatershed in the State of Arizona, dated June 2007 and prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation.

(2) PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES- The term `principles and guidelines' means the report entitled `Economic and Environmental Principles and Guidelines for Water and Related Land Resources Implementation Studies' issued on March 10, 1983, by the Water Resources Council established under title I of the Water Resources Planning Act (42 U.S.C. 1962a et seq.).

(3) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

(b) Sierra Vista Subwatershed Feasibility Study-

(1) STUDY-

(A) IN GENERAL- In accordance with the reclamation laws and the principles and guidelines, the Secretary, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, may complete a feasibility study of alternatives to augment the water supplies within the Sierra Vista Subwatershed in the State of Arizona that are identified as appropriate for further study in the appraisal report.

(B) INCLUSIONS- In evaluating the feasibility of alternatives under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall--

(i) include--

(I) any required environmental reviews;

(II) the construction costs and projected operations, maintenance, and replacement costs for each alternative; and

(III) the economic feasibility of each alternative;

(ii) take into consideration the ability of Federal, tribal, State, and local government sources and private sources to fund capital construction costs and annual operation, maintenance, energy, and replacement costs;

(iii) establish the basis for--

(I) any cost-sharing allocations; and

(II) anticipated repayment, if any, of Federal contributions; and

(iv) perform a cost-benefit analysis.


(A) IN GENERAL- The Federal share of the total costs of the study under paragraph (1) shall not exceed 45 percent.

(B) FORM OF NON-FEDERAL SHARE- The non-Federal share required under subparagraph (A) may be in the form of any in-kind service that the Secretary determines would contribute substantially toward the conduct and completion of the study under paragraph (1).

(3) STATEMENT OF CONGRESSIONAL INTENT RELATING TO COMPLETION OF STUDY- It is the intent of Congress that the Secretary complete the study under paragraph (1) by a date that is not later than 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act.

(4) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this subsection $1,260,000.

(c) Water Rights- Nothing in this section affects--

(1) any valid or vested water right in existence on the date of enactment of this Act; or

(2) any application for water rights pending before the date of enactment of this Act.