Govs Fear Sale of Public Lands for Mining

By JENNIFER TALHELM Associated Press Writer

December 02,2005 | WASHINGTON -- Six Western governors and a growing number of senators say they fear a plan in a budget bill allowing the sale of millions of acres of public lands could do permanent harm to their states...

House lawmakers added the provision, which ends an 11-year congressional ban on new applications to buy public land for mining, to their budget bill on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

Supporters say it would help struggling communities recover after mines close. But opponents argue it amounts to a fire sale on federal lands, including wilderness study areas and national parks. The Interior Department says the plan could affect up to 20 million acres, while environmentalists say it could allow the government to sell 350 million acres.
---INTERJECTION: Gee, why would anyone think this administration, given its record on the environment and truth, might not be able to be trusted? How could anyone think they'd allow -- let alone promote -- a fire sale of national resources?

...The bill changes an 1872 law that allows private companies to "patent" -- or purchase -- public land at up to $5 an acre to mine minerals such as gold and silver.

Congress has opposed new patents since 1994. House lawmakers now propose to lift the ban and raise the fee to $1,000 an acre, or "fair market value," whichever is more.

Brian Kennedy, a spokesman for House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo, R-Calif., said the bill is about "sustainable economic development for rural communities in need" and that Pombo would be open to negotiating some changes.


First of all, Pombo is a sociopathic real estate man pretending to represent the poor bastards in Tracy who are being buried by the process of turning the central valley into one giant strip mall.

This overturning of a most sensible ban on the giveaway of federal lands -- ostensibly for mining, but actually not requiring the buyers to mine, nor restricting them from doing/building anything they choose on the land -- is vile and irrevocable in terms of damage to OUR national world.

At a certain point, we have to stop just standing by and letting these vermin strip our land of everything. There's no way to compromise and say, "Oh, ok, it'll just be PARTIAL devastation." It doesn't belong to them and Bush, et al have no right to sell it.

Edward Abbey was right -- they bring in the bulldozers, we need to bring in the monkeywrenches.

Earth First is right -- these insane short-sighted profit-obsessed sonsobitches must be stopped.

Once it's gone, it's gone forever.

Check out Earth Liberation Front. They have an interesting viewpoint on matters such as this -- it has to do with what is defined as vandalism and what is defined as progress.


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