American Elephants

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

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.

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And here’s the part no one who is trying to “protect” the “refuge” ever really seems to want to discuss; Most of the pictures that will show you are, in fact, in the ANWR (what, like I would think this administration would be dishonest in presenting its case, or something. No reason to believe that might happen, is there?), it just that what they are showing is less than 1% of the area, and usually at the southern tip or the immediate area along the coast. Where people are interested in drilling is an area that is scrubby, marshy, and no one lives there (in fact, someone I know who has surveyed the area says the dominant animal there is a particularly nasty breed of mosquito). No polar bears. No elk. No seals.

And as for “Protecting” this “outstanding landscape for our children”? Nobody goes there. There are no roads.

Closing all of this off was a political move in the first place, for the same reason large amounts of the west were closed off; there is an element that does not want oil development. All this blather about “protecting the landscape” is a bunch of hooey.


Comment by Lon Mead

yes. we all got an email to thank him for this. I said yea, you promised and others promised in 71 to uphold the freedom act..and now our horses and burros are being stolen and murdered. how does that make them protected? its genocide. period. we hate watching animals pushed to extinction but wild hores? they do no harm at all. they die horribly worse than farm animals and thats bad. the horror. hope his daughters know how he killed all the pretty horses in america. bastard


Comment by Janet Curtis

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