As the idea for transferring some federal lands into state hands gains ground, opponents are reverting to a straw man argument that supporters are trying to “sell” public land. (Note to reporters- if one piece of federal land simply became state land, it is still considered “public” land)
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle took the bait, and made a big deal out of a poll paid for by opponents to federal land transfers.
Two-thirds of Montana voters oppose selling public lands to reduce the federal deficit, including 51 percent of Republicans, according to a statewide poll released Monday.
Every poll should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when the group funding the poll has an agenda to promote. Yet, the Chronicle made a big deal out of this story, promoting the narrative that efforts to transfer some federal lands into state hands is an effort to “sell” federal lands. Irresponsible? Maybe. Propaganda? Likely.
Unfortunately for Montana Democrats, some of their legislators from more conservative districts are actually buying into this anti-land transfer propaganda. Rep. Bill McChesney (D-Miles City) has wondered recently why there are no Democrats left in Eastern Montana, yet he’s coming out as strongly opposing the concept of transferring some federal lands into state hands.
McChesney and other Democratic members of the Environmental Quality Council said they wouldn’t support releasing the draft report, which they said is biased in favor of Republican views of public land management.
With knee jerk opposition to an idea such as this, expect Eastern Montana Democrats to remain on the Endangered Species List. McChesney couldn’t even convince his own Governor and fellow Democratic legislators to support infrastructure funding for Eastern Montana, and now this?
While some rural legislators remain silent, the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA) is speaking up for their members.
Politico’s Morning Energy: WESTERN GROUP LAUNCHES CONSERVATION CAMPAIGN
The environmental watchdog Center for Western Priorities is dropping six figures on an online campaign “that will help give voice to Westerners’ priorities for their public lands, including clean air and water, conservation, access for recreation, and responsible energy development,” according to the group. ‘Winning the West’ includes advertisements promoting voting for conservation-minded candidates, as well as polling data, op-eds and events in Colorado, Montana and Washington, D.C. More here: http://bit.ly/1qBwkox
– Sponsors pull a ballot initiative that would have given communities greater power over oil drilling because of a lack of support Denver Post: http://dpo.st/1rc3Gy8
Speaking of federal land mismanagement…is the Obama administration really blocking firefighting equipment from reaching the front lines, all because the equipment doesn’t meet his carbon emission guidelines?
Wall Street Journal editorial: Obama’s Nonpolluting Fire-Fighters
The Obama Administration is asking Congress for more money to fight summer wildfires, especially in the dry West, but perhaps it could start by getting its own agencies off firefighters’ backs. We’re speaking of the Defense Department’s recent and gratuitous fit of environmental consciousness, which has disrupted disaster efforts in peak wildfire season.
A bipartisan group of 25 Senators led by Arizona’s John McCain last Thursday sent Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel a letter demanding an explanation for the Pentagon’s June decision to stop programs that supply federal equipment to states for fighting wildfires. DOD suspended the programs on grounds the equipment didn’t meet the latest federal emissions standards. As if real fires aren’t major air-polluting events.
The same federal government that can’t manage the land it already owns, the same federal government that won’t release firefighting equipment due to carbon emissions standards, and the same federal government that is 18-plus trillion dollars in debt has also depleted the highway trust fund.
Transportation secretary says fund could run dry in early August
While Tester said raising the gas tax is one possible solution, Congressman Steve Daines said he would not support such an increase. Alee Lockman, a spokesperson for Daines, said the congressman believes there are other ways to support the trust fund, including using royalties from natural resource development on federal lands.
While Tester and Daines disagree on the means to support the trust fund, both say it is critical to Montana’s future.
J. C. Kantorowicz – Great Falls
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:25 AM
Rep. Bill McChesney (D-Miles City) has wondered recently why there are no Democrats left in Eastern Montana,
Oh Really? Let us see now why that could be possible. Democrats oppose:
Coal mines and oil production.
Refuse to invest in infrastructure in eastern Montana as if that will stop drilling in the Bakken.
Constantly looking for new taxes to impose.
Promote welfare over work.
Promote regulation over free enterprise.
Push citizen rights for illegal aliens.
Reduce the military when we are nearing WW III.
My favorite….. Democrats decide which laws to enforce and which to ignore.
The list goes on and on……..