Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, July 24, 2006

Too Much Energy Drilling in Western States

And this time it isn’t just liberals and treehuggers who are complaining. A lot of Republicans and Conservatives are alarmed that wildlife and outdoor recreation are being jeopardized by excessive drilling on public lands.

In Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and California, Republicans are calling for bans or limits on drilling in national forests. The vice president of Trout Unlimited said “You are seeing more and more opposition from people who are concerned about hunting, about fishing, about drinking water supplies, about a state’s way of life.”

The biggest turnaround comes from Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Montana). He’s been a loyal Bush Republican who never saw an oil rig he didn’t love. But now he’s fighting for his political life this November, so he’s making some changes. Now he wants to ban future oil and gas leasing on national forestland and rangeland in his home state.

Governor Ahnuld has petitioned the federal government for permanent protection of 4.4 million acres of California national forest from road-building. By sheer coincidence, he also is facing a tough re-election campaign.

Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming) recently said that most national forests should be off limits to drilling “because they’re part of our tradition, part of our future.”

Rep. Heather Wilson (R-New Mexico) is co-sponsoring legislation to block the federal government from drilling for natural gas in an elk refuge in New Mexico.

Thank God for NIMBYism (not in my backyard). There hasn’t been much development or drilling in Kennebunkport, ME or Crawford, TX for some strange reason. Now it seems other Republicans are having the same sentiments about their home states.

From the day Bush got appointed he’s been pushing federal agencies to expedite drilling on public lands (that’s OUR land, people). During Bush's first full year in office, 3,540 drilling permits were issued. During 2005 the number almost doubled to 7,018.

It looks like some of Bush’s most loyal Republicans have finally had enough.


Blogger PoliShifter said...

This was predictable to a certain degree. It might be drilling right now but sooner or later Bush is and will trample on issues near and dear to Conservative's hearts.

The old timers like William F Buckley are turning on Bush but it is taking longer than expected for other sycophants to follow suit.

Bush's wreckless fiscal policies should be enough to make any conservative puke.

July 24, 2006 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

PoliShifter: I hope you're right. This seems to be a pattern, but like you say it's taking forever to happen. Whether it's hunters and fishermen who are against too much development; real Christians who are against Big Business; or Big Business types who are leary of Fundamentalists; at some point all of these people should realize that they're just being played like a violin. I wish it wasn't such a slow process.

July 24, 2006 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger James said...

I live near Crawford and not to rain on your example but there are oil rigs around here and there has also been a noticeable change in the amount of animals you see.

Outdoorsmen who are usually republican have all noticed it lately. We have got to ween ourself off of fossil fuels one way or the other.

July 25, 2006 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

James: Oil rigs near Crawford, huh? I guess that makes sense. I should've used a different example.

But I'm glad people are getting concerned about the decreasing wildlife.

July 25, 2006 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Looks like the Republicans are jumping ship left and right. I predict near full meltdown in the last two years.

The lamest of all lame-ducks.

July 25, 2006 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Praguetwin: I hope you're right about the full meltdown. These people have to go. And whoever takes their place has to be under much closer scrutiny and held to higher standards than we've been doing. We can't let anybody -- regardless of political views -- get this much unchecked power again.

July 25, 2006 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger annonny-maus said...

Well.....hate to admit it, but I am one of them.

July 25, 2006 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Annonny-Maus: One of who? In any case, confession is good for the soul (as the saying goes).

July 25, 2006 at 10:58 PM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

It's amazing, how many Goppers get concerned about the environment in an election year.

Maybe we ought to have an election every 6 months. Imagine the environmental consciousness that would result!

July 26, 2006 at 7:16 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jolly Roger: Yup, it's amazing. The environment, working people -- rightwing politicians suddenly "discover" all these issues when they're up for re-election. Either an election every 6 months, or the opposite: one term only and then you're out. Either of those changes might help. Couldn't get any worse.

July 26, 2006 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

Just a word of caution on the term limit and more elections thing. Getting something done good or bad in the world of politics takes time. Just suppose someone you support is working on getting something that your in favor of done. His or her term limit ends, so does the work on theproject you were supporting. Don't get me wrong, I don't want them in office for life (its hard to remember when we didn't have a Sen. Ted Kennedy) but all things take time.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

July 26, 2006 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

David: Good point. It's hard to know what the solution is.

July 26, 2006 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Looks like a number of GOP candidates are "flip flopping" on the environmental issues. Because they are desperate, they will say whatever it takes to win votes, but as we have seen (particularly with Bush in recent years, but generally throughout our nation's political history), once you gain office you don't always have to do what you promised during your campaign.

I doubt that very many of the GOP's environmental flip-floppers' hearts are really in their support of environmental measures... they probably view such things as necessary sacrifices which must be made in order to maintain their power.

Tom, I think you're right particularly in your first comment response in the thread when you say "at some point all of these people should realize that they're just being played like a violin. I wish it wasn't such a slow process." I think that's it in a nutshell. Good post!!

July 26, 2006 at 11:59 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Thanks. Yup, it's amazing how concerned conservatives are about workers and the environment when their poll numbers are down, or when an election is drawing near. And the different groups in our current wingnut coalition -- namely Big Business and the Religious Right -- it would seem like they have so little in common, I just can't believe they can't see through each other. I guess they need each other to win elections, but that coalition needs to be broken up.

July 27, 2006 at 12:49 AM  

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