Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, February 18, 2016

In the Spirit of Abbie Hoffman: “Steal This Drilling Permit”

Or you could say Abbie Hoffman meets Edward Abbey a new tactic in the escalating land wars between the Koch/ALEC useful idiots and the other 99% of us.

Under the General Mining Law of 1872 which hasn't changed a bit in 144 years  any person or company can lease public lands for just a few dollars an acre for the purpose of mining, drilling, etc.  But now there's a David and Goliath twist:  environmentalists, renewable energy advocates and members of the Keep it in the Ground movement are starting to lease huge acreages of public land — allegedly for the sole purpose of mining/drilling/fracking [wink].  Damn, I looked all over the place for oil, silver, minerals; and I just couldn't find any.

Author Terry Tempest Williams paid $1,200 to lease several hundred acres in Grand County, Utah.  She made this purchase on behalf of Elders Rising, Canyon Country Rising Tide and other groups whose goal is to keep it in the ground.  She told a reporter:

“What was so devastating was to witness on the centennial of our national parks that lands adjacent to Arches National Park are being sold for $2 an acre...These are America's public lands that are being sold for less than a cup of coffee.”

Let's hope this is just the beginning.  We need a lot more of our public lands to be leased for the purpose of keeping it in the ground instead of Drill Here Drill Now.

The holder of the lease has ten years to either produce something or give up the lease.  After that, hopefully another environmentalist in Kochsucker's clothing can stake a claim to the same property.  And on and on...

You do of course have to actually pay the agreed amount for the lease; otherwise you go to jail for fraud.  [See below for some notable exceptions]

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Blogger Jerry Critter said...

This may be a "relatively cheap" way to protect huge amounts of public land.

February 18, 2016 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger One Fly said...

Well done Mr. Harper.

February 18, 2016 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous TomCat said...

Very well said Tom, Oregon's Sen. Jeff Merkley is sponsoring the Keep it in the ground act. Bernie is a co-sponsor.

February 18, 2016 at 5:53 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: I agree. It's cheap, and it's a way to get lots of people involved who aren't wealthy and/or don't want to go out and protest and wave signs, etc.

One Fly: Thanks.

TC: Thanks. Three cheers for Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders.

February 18, 2016 at 6:56 PM  

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