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No Arctic oil drilling? How about selling parks?
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 9/23/5 | Zachary Coile

Posted on 09/23/2005 11:46:50 PM PDT by SmithL

Pombo hopes threat will boost bid to tap refuge's resources.

Washington -- House Resources chairman Richard Pombo is circulating a draft of a bill that would sell 15 national parks and require the National Park Service to raise millions of dollars by selling the naming rights to visitors' centers and trails.

Pombo's spokesman said the proposal, written by Pombo's House Resources Committee staff, is intended only to influence lawmakers to support an item in the budget bill that would permit oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

If drilling continues to be banned in the refuge, Pombo's staff argued, the government would have to sell parks as well as advertising space on park buses, trams and ferries to reach the level of revenues expected from oil leases sales in the Alaskan refuge.

While Brian Kennedy, Pombo's spokesman, said the Tracy Republican lawmaker has no plans to introduce the bill, environmental groups expressed outrage that he would even suggest selling national parks -- including the Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site in Danville -- to raise money for the federal Treasury.

"These proposals for the national park system are unconscionable," said Craig Obey, vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association. "It's hard to believe anyone could even contemplate drafting something this extreme."

The proposal by Pombo's staff is a strange byproduct of the contentious debate over whether to drill in the Arctic Refuge, which is expected to be voted on by Congress in October.

A budget bill passed by the House this spring directed Pombo and his committee to come up with $2.4 billion in savings for the federal budget -- which not by coincidence is what the Congressional Budget Office predicts the government could reap in revenues from oil lease sales

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: artic; parks; pombo
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I like this Pombo guy.
1 posted on 09/23/2005 11:46:51 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL

---"These proposals for the national park system are unconscionable," said Craig Obey, vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association. "It's hard to believe anyone could even contemplate drafting something this extreme."---

National parks are 'extreme' from a constitutional standpoint.

But hey, only 'right wing' extremism matters.


2 posted on 09/23/2005 11:50:29 PM PDT by flashbunny (Do you believe in the Constitution only until it keeps the government from doing what you want?)
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To: SmithL
"These public lands are icons of our natural and cultural history," Pope said. "They belong to us all, and it is not up to congressmen Pombo or Tancredo to offer them to the highest bidder."

Excuse me, Mr. Pope, but Legislators can determine what we sell and what we keep. It's called the Legislative Branch of the U.S. Government, which was intended to be the most powerful for a reason.

3 posted on 09/23/2005 11:53:32 PM PDT by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: flashbunny

We're all extreme! Where's McCain when you need him? :)


4 posted on 09/23/2005 11:54:29 PM PDT by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: writer33

He's back in arizona, at the border, handing out 'mccain 2008' bumper stickers to illegal aliens coming across.


5 posted on 09/23/2005 11:57:53 PM PDT by flashbunny (Do you believe in the Constitution only until it keeps the government from doing what you want?)
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To: SmithL

The feds own more land then anyone. An unconstitutional set of circumstances if there ever was one. Sell them off. Now.


6 posted on 09/24/2005 12:00:29 AM PDT by Reagan Man (Secure the borders;punish employers who hire illegals;halt all welfare handouts to illegals.)
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To: flashbunny
He's back in arizona, at the border, handing out 'mccain 2008' bumper stickers to illegal aliens coming across.

McCain's slogan: McCain Means Moolah for Mexico. Vote John Mccain 2008. Se Habla Espanol.

:)

7 posted on 09/24/2005 12:03:27 AM PDT by writer33 (Rush Limbaugh walks in the footsteps of giants: George Washington, Thomas Paine and Ronald Reagan.)
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To: SmithL
Most of the land in Idaho is "owned" by the federal government. It is not available for private ownership by ordinary citizens. That land is also excluded from generating property tax revenue for the state of Idaho. The federal government takes federal tax revenue and pays Idaho PILT (payment in lieu of taxes). The same happens in other states, but not to the same degree.
8 posted on 09/24/2005 12:11:25 AM PDT by Myrddin
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To: SmithL
This is incredibly stupid of Pombo and counterproductive. It will just further confuse the general public who don't know the difference between national parks and other public lands like ANWR.
9 posted on 09/24/2005 1:53:53 AM PDT by BigBobber
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To: SmithL
ANWR is a wasteland except for the fact that it has oil under it. Otherwise it's ruthless and unforgiving terrain that only a caribou could love. Actually I'm sure the caribou hate the clouds of black flies.

Yes, you could say I'm human-centric. Let's drill the crap out of ANWR and inch closer to independence from Mohammed's death cult.

10 posted on 09/24/2005 2:18:26 AM PDT by XpandTheEkonomy
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To: SmithL
On a more serious (and perhaps obvious) political note I want to add that the only reason a liberal believes ANWR is a beautiful place...is because there are no humans there.

Lack of human presence = highest form of natural beauty.

11 posted on 09/24/2005 2:25:40 AM PDT by XpandTheEkonomy
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To: XpandTheEkonomy

Stretch: The Old Geezer here: Hey guys (and gals) can't forget those lovely ladies...
lET'S NOT FORGET: Clinton, with the stroke of a pen, put the Grand Escalante Staircase off limits to all coal mining--- environmental free coal... as a payback to the Riady family, his largest contributor, and also to pay back China and Indonesia, for their millions of dollars to his campaigns (and hillary's) We now are forced to buy our coal for energy plants from China and Indonesia.. Lets recind that executive order, and re-open the coal fields that were booming in the Grand Escalante Staircase Monument. GOVERNMENT BY THE STROKE OF A PEN!


12 posted on 09/24/2005 4:19:45 AM PDT by Stretch (Rats, skunks, bugs and other vermin protect their babies; Liberals kill theirs)
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To: SmithL

Very smart move when running in a 50/50 district in enviro-whacked California! /s


13 posted on 09/24/2005 4:48:08 AM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: SmithL

Billions with a B just for the lease sales. Throw in land sales, crude sales, refined sales, and a host of other sales as well as wages, tax revenue, etc etc, it is unconscionable not to offer the leases for sale. Only stupid anti-business, anti-american, vice-presidents of extreme environmental groups, would even suggest such lack of action in the face of reality.


14 posted on 09/24/2005 5:05:17 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
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To: SmithL

How about returning the land confiscated by the Federal Government to its rightful owners???


15 posted on 09/24/2005 6:08:13 AM PDT by Savage Beast (The Internet is the Newspaper of Record.)
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To: SmithL

The federal gov't owns 30% of the land area of the US, including over 50% of the land west of the Mississippi. It is time to appoint an independent commission, like the recent Base Realignment Commission (BRAC) to find which properties are essential to the government's function and which are luxuries we are better off selling to the highest bidder.

We cannot have our cake and eat it too- we are fools to keep printing and borrowing money while sitting on millions of acres, some of which could fetch very high prices.

If the enviros object, they are free to bid on a parcel. Let them put their money where their mouth is, like Ted Turner, who has bought a lot of land.


16 posted on 09/24/2005 6:23:26 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: SmithL
Theme parks make money, auto parks (British term) make money, even Bert Parks made a bunch of money in his time.

Yet National Parks are a persistent drain on the nation's treasury.

Why is that?

Perhaps because we have politicians forever proclaiming them "national treasures" and such, appropriating millions on questionable improvements for visitors whose entrance fees barely cover rangers' salaries.

A private business operating like this would go belly-up after the first season.

Yet, with all the natural beauty National Parks have on display, people love to go there to camp, observe nature or just have a good time. There's no reason a smart operator (say Disney, or even the Sierra Club) couldn't turn a profit while keeping things in a mostly natural state so people can enjoy a wilderness experience. They're not about to destroy it as long as the public has such reverence for natural beauty. A private operator looking to make money would be more likely to improve access for the disabled and elderly folks who may have difficulty enjoying much of our National Parks. We're not all able to hike steep trails, you know.

Is there need to even mention that most popular parks have far from adequate accommodations? They were planned for a population of 50 million, not 300 million and growing, and with much more leisure time and better transportation than 100 years ago.

Yes, it is indeed time to sell off these National Parks. Pombo's idea won't fly in this Congress, since he's not serious anyway -- he's using it as a wedge to get action on ANWR. I would hope he will sponsor a bill in a future Congress to do what has to be done and divest the federal government from the parks business.

17 posted on 09/24/2005 7:14:34 AM PDT by logician2u
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To: SmithL

They should sell the national parks regardless. Let Disney operate them as campground, or, better yet, let the enivironmentalists pitch in their own money to buy the parks. Then they can operate them as they wish without complaining all the time about the park and forestry services.


18 posted on 09/24/2005 8:16:43 AM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: theBuckwheat

It might be prudent to consider that the land the Federal government controls is actually capital in the form of real property. This Federally owned real property helps stabalize and guarantee the value of our currency and debt instruments to investors. Our currency is backed by the full faith and credit of our government. Some of that faith and credit is founded in the principle that our government has real assets which are worth $$$$$ insuring that we could not go broke. Our currency is no longer backed by gold, faith in the value of it now is based solely on the governments ability to back it up. Without large amounts of real assets, the only way to guarantee debt payments is through taxation and if public faith in currency fails, then taxation won't be worth a damn anyway.

Selling all or large portions of Federally owned land is a bad idea if having a stable currency and an ability to sell bonds etc. means anything to us. Land isn't the only factor that affects Federal solvency but it is a factor and shouldn't be
dealt with lightly.


19 posted on 09/24/2005 8:16:56 AM PDT by XRdsRev (New Jersey has more horses per square mile than any other U.S. state.)
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To: Myrddin

"The federal government takes federal tax revenue and pays Idaho PILT (payment in lieu of taxes)."

So the Federal Government takes our tax money to pay tax money to the States for land that isn't generating tax money because the Federal Government took it? In other words, if you take out the Fed middle man, those states that don't have a lot of land owned by the Feds are sending the tax money generated by private ownership of land to the states whose land is owed by the Feds? Is this right?


20 posted on 09/24/2005 8:22:59 AM PDT by pepperdog
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