Sell Off All Public Lands! That's What Republicans Want

This Republican Congress is as bold as you can get. We’ll soon see the results in their final budget, but here’s a taste of how far they want to go on the environmental front.

In last night’s "vote-a-rama" in the Senate, one of the amendments that easily passed with full Republican support is:

Sell ALL 700 million acres of federal public land to the states – all our national forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and national monuments.  Every piece of land would be up for grabs except national parks.

The states wouldn’t buy the land, the federal government would pay to transfer it to them. From there, states would either manage it (for a profit) or sell it to the highest private sector bidders for oil and gas development, mining and grazing.

Who proposed the amendment? Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who now chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

The vote is one of many nonbinding budget resolutions passed last night. Legislation would have to pass for it to become law, but it certainly shows their priorities and values. 

Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) vow to block any legislation that moves in this direction.

Goodbye Caribou migration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – there’s oil there:

Arctic Caribou Migration

In the House, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chair of the Natural Resources Committee, says this transfer is a priority. He wants to spend $50 million of taxpayer money to start the process immediately. 

Efforts are also underway in Republican-dominated western states using model ALEC legislation. Utah passed the bill in 2012 demanding lands be turned over to the state by 2014. The state plans to sue the federal government for not complying.

ALEC’s legislation – drafted in 1995 – is aptly called the Sagebrush Rebellion Act, after a similar effort about 30 years ago. Fracking, for example, would be everywhere and unregulated and our most precious heritage – not to mention the last bastion for countless animals and plants – would be turned over to corporate control … and profit.

This is unconstitutional, but that doesn’t mean they won’t pursue it.

Read our article, The Great Outdoors Doesn’t Make Into US GDP.

Visit this website to learn which representatives want to rid the federal government of public lands – you’ll be amazed by how many there are:

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