Who should dominate, the government or the people?

It can be a challenge keeping up with the news sometimes – like trying to take a drink of water from a fire hydrant.  Sometimes we miss things.

For example, the biggest news story back on June 29 was President Trump’s tweet about MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski – the “plastic surgery” tweet – in response to “Morning Joe” anchors Joe Scarborough and Brzezinski incessantly berating the president.  But also on June 29, President Trump held a news conference at the Energy Department to announce initiatives directed at having the U.S. achieve “energy dominance.”  News about the tweet overshadowed the news conference. 

Of course there were critics, saying energy dominance is unattainable and harmful to the environment.

The focus of the initiatives, Trump said, is to create jobs and energy security.  The main aspects of the plan are lifting a moratorium on coal mining on federal lands, expanding offshore drilling in all the oceans off the U.S. coast, reducing and overturning EPA regulations dealing with oil and gas exploration and production, expediting pipeline projects such as the Keystone XL, and expediting construction of two multi-billion-dollar natural gas pipeline export terminals to send U.S. shale gas around the world.

One natural gas export terminal is in Maryland, and the other is here in the Bayou State, in Lake Charles.  

If President Trump can refrain from invoking the Antiquities Act – signed in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt – it will make more federal land available for energy development.  The environmentalists say that’s bad.

But hold your horses.  There are nearly a billion acres of federal land that have been designated as “national monuments” by U.S. presidents, under the Antiquities Act, since 1906.  The land is not for use as a “public park”; the designations simply restrict land use, create lost economic activity for states, and concentrate power in Washington.  And no congressional approval is needed.

There are currently billions of dollars in maintenance backlogs on the land claimed under the Antiquities Act.  Sounds like government overreach to me – the federal government taking on more than it can handle.  Barrack Obama added, by far, the most acreage under the Antiquities Act – 554 million acres.  Huge power grab . . . Big Government at its worst.

Let’s try Limited Government and let the people, and energy production, dominate.

 

-Mark Pope