American Elephants


Here We Go Again! Obama Attempts A Vast Landgrab: 12 Million Acres Of Alaska. by The Elephant's Child

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The Obama administration will propose setting aside more than twelve million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness, including 1.5 million miles of coastal plain, and a chunk of the Arctic Ocean, the White House announced today. Dumb idea. We have been all through this before.

The wildlife of ANWR are currently protected, and flourishing. The polar bears are just fine. The administration will undoubtedly have endless videos featuring the beauty of the land and the extensive wildlife with sob-stories about the need to protect them from — the ravages of anyone that might want to drill for oil in the coastal plain. That is what this is all about — another attempt to prevent anyone from successfully drilling for petroleum.

The goal of the greenest of the greens has always been to make most of America into ‘wilderness,’ and force the population into dense cities, with narrow links between cities. Presumably high speed rail.

The federal government does few things well, and most things very badly. There are some things that only a federal government can do, like a military, and they do that poorly too. The federal government is not a  good steward of the public lands.

When drilling was allowed on the North Slope, the claims of the damage that would be done to the land and to the wildlife, to ‘critical habitat,’ to the migrating birds went on and on. Turned out the footprint of the drilling operation was quite small, and the wildlife loved the pipeline which provided warmth, shelter, and the occasional scratching post.

Naturally, President Obama is attempting to do this  by executive order. He says his “Department of the Interior has put forward a comprehensive plan to make sure we’re protecting the refuge, and that we’re designating new areas, including coastal plains, for preservation,” he said from his seat aboard Air Force One.

He also wants to block off a good chunk of the Arctic Ocean from drilling. Which clears up any mystery about why he is announcing this right now. He’s attempting to boost the price of oil as a present for the Saudis, hoping  to rescue his relationship with the desert kingdom.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe said the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge “faces growing challenges that require a thoughtful and comprehensive management strategy” in a statement today. “The incorporation of large portions of the refuge into the National Wilderness Preservation System will ensure we protect this outstanding landscape and its inhabitants for our children and generations that follow.” Now there is a carefully worded statement that says nothing— nothing at all. Changing a designation to “wilderness” does not “ensure” anything, not the survival of wildlife nor the preservation of anything at all.

Preventing Americans from using out own natural resources will not enable us to rely instead on wind and/or solar — which are not free, and cannot even work at all without full time backup from conventional power sources — no matter how much taxpayer money is handed off to Obama’s cronies. A modern industrial society depends on plentiful  low cost energy, something Obama doesn’t seem to understand at all.



A Visit to Saudi Arabia by The Elephant's Child

96379-004-BADCACC3President Obama will pass up on the planned side trip to take Michelle to see the Taj Mahal during his three-day visit to India, in order to visit Saudi Arabia, where he will ‘pay respects’ to the family of the late King Abdullah, and meet with the new King Salman.

The Taj Mahal has been virtually ‘locked down’ this week as U.S. security teams prepared the fabled mausoleum for the president’s visit, now cancelled. Vice President Biden had been scheduled to make the trip to Saudi Arabia, but it  was cancelled when it was realized that Biden and Obama would cross paths as the president left the region and the vice president arrived.

It has been widely reported in the press that King Abdullah detested President Obama, and his successors follow his priorities. King Salman is not in good health, and Crown Prince Migrin may stand in when needed, and the younger generation Mohammed has been named Deputy Crown Prince so the line of succession is clear. King Abdullah had an excellent relationship with George W. Bush, and he visited the Bushes at  the Crawford Ranch.

Mr. Obama is reported to be taking a “gift” to the Saudis with a plan to close off 12 million acres of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to any potential drilling by declaring it to be “Wilderness.” That is based on the assumption, popular in the press, that the reason the Saudis have continued to pump oil in the wake of the declining price of oil, is their attempt to force frackers out of the market.

Looking clearly at the state of the Middle East, it seems far more likely that they are hoping to cause problems for the Iranian economy which needs a higher price for oil to break even. It does not help that Obama is releasing Iran’s assets held in this country to Iran in the supposition that  will be more persuasive in stopping Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons than busting their economy. Strategy is not exactly one of the strong points of the Obama administration. And there doesn’t seem to be anybody there with a clear understanding of the Middle East.




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