PERC: A Peaceable Solution for the Range War Over Grazing

Aaron Flint posted on April 23, 2014 12:39 :: 7509 Views

Here’s a couple articles of interest.  First, PERC’s Shawn Regan writes about the Bundy ranch standoff in Nevada for The Wall Street Journal.  PERC is the Bozeman, Montana-based  Property and Environment Research Center.

Then, he’s the deep-pocketed funder of the left and Democratic candidates.  The Powerline blog writes of “the Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer.”

PERC: A Peaceable Solution for the Range War Over Grazing Rights

The range war still brewing outside Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nev., is an example of the dysfunctional status quo on federal lands. Outside this small community 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, dozens of protesters have clashed with federal agents, prompting officials to call off a controversial cattle roundup due to concerns over public safety. The Bureau of Land Management intended to confiscate Mr. Bundy’s cattle for illegally grazing on federal lands that are considered habitat for the federally protected desert tortoise.

Mr. Bundy failed to comply with modifications made to his grazing permit in 1993 to protect the tortoises and refuses to pay grazing fees to the government. In the heat of the standoff, Ammon Bundy, one of Cliven Bundy’s sons, was shot with a stun gun while protesters were confined to “First Amendment Areas,” free-speech zones similar to the ones set up by Russia during the Sochi Olympics.

Free-market environmentalism offers a better approach. Since 2002 the National Wildlife Federation has secured more than half a million acres of federal grazing land outside Yellowstone National Park to provide habitat for bison, grizzly bears and wolves. The group negotiates voluntary buyouts with ranchers and pays for the federal grazing permits with its own money.
 – See more at: The Epic Hypocrisy of Tom Steyer

Billionaire hedge fund operator and “green” energy magnate Tom Steyer has pledged $100 million in the 2014 election cycle to help Democratic candidates who oppose the Keystone pipeline and who favor “green” energy over fossil fuels. Steyer claims to be a man of principle who has no financial interest in the causes he supports, but acts only for the public good. That is a ridiculous claim: Steyer is the ultimate rent-seeker who depends on government connections to produce subsidies and mandates that make his “green” energy investments profitable. He also is, or was until recently, a major investor in Kinder Morgan, which is building a competitor to the Keystone pipeline. Go here, here, here, here, here and here for more information about how Steyer uses his political donations and consequent connections to enhance his already vast fortune.

But Steyer’s hypocrisy goes still deeper. Today, he is a bitter opponent of fossil fuels, especially coal. That fits with his current economic interests: banning coal-fired power plants will boost the value of his solar projects. But it was not always thus. In fact, Steyer owes his fortune in large part to the fact that he has been one of the world’s largest financers of coal projects. Tom Steyer was for coal before he was against it.

Click here for the full article.

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