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Colorado Burns. Are Obama’s Environmental and Defense Policies to Blame?
The PJ Tatler ^ | June 27th, 2012 | Bryan Preston

Posted on 06/27/2012 1:27:48 PM PDT by Avoiding_Sulla

Colorado is suffering wildfires this summer, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes, with our own Stephen Green possibly among them. If Colorado’s experience this year is anything like Texas’ experience last year, then it can expect little to no help from the federal government. But Texas is a red state, Colorado is a swing state, so perhaps there’s hope that Obama won’t quite go Soviet on it as he did on Arizona on Monday. Still, the Obama administration has slashed the US Air Force budget by about $4 billion. Sequestration threatens even more cuts. This is relevant to the wildfires because it takes aircraft to fight them. But before we get to that, environmental policy may already stand in the way of putting the fires out, according to an editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

Part of the problem is red tape and vague policy regarding use of military aircraft to put out fires, even when they burn federal property. Part of it involves intentional interference with aerial fire suppression. Part of the problem is the Obama administration. Environmentalists have fought the use of slurry for years, which may or may not explain why Obama seems to lack enthusiasm for a robust tanker fleet. Environmentalists sued to stop the use of fire retardant after it killed 50 steelhead trout in the Santa Ynez River near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2009. An earlier lawsuit involved the accidental dumping of between 1,000 and 2,000 gallons of fire retardant into Oregon’s Fall River in 2002, a mistake that killed all fish in the river. That mishap involved a slurry formula that is no longer used. As a result of the most recent lawsuit, the Forest Service adopted rules that prevent dropping slurry within 300 feet of streams and lakes except when human lives are at risk. Forest officials say the rules won’t harm firefighting efforts. We hope that is true. Even if it is, we know that a shortage of planes to drop retardants most certainly hinders firefighting throughout the country. That’s common sense.
Indeed. But common sense is uncommon in Obama’s Washington. The Weekly Standard follows up on those aircraft Colorado needs.
A C-130 fitted with the Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) can drop 3,000 gallons of fire-retardant material in 5 seconds, and reload in just 15 minutes. This tempo is crucial to containing wildfires like the one devastating Colorado Springs. However, of a current fleet of nearly 380 C-130s, only eight can be fitted with the MAFFS—and four of them are already in the skies over Colorado. With another fire looming in the north of the state, there is no excess capacity to help protect civilian areas. That means thousands of exhausted firefighters on the ground are without enough of the crucial support they need to control the fires. All this raises concerns about President Obama’s defense budget, which cuts 65 C-130s from the fleet over the next four years. While that will leave 318 C-130s, the demands on the fleet are not shrinking in Afghanistan or other places. Nor did the Air Force have much choice in the matter. The Air Force took the brunt of Pentagon budget cuts in the 2013 budget, shrinking by 4 percent (or roughly $4 billion dollars), after having a flat budget since 2004. Since 2001, over 500 aircraft have been retired, and another 300 will be scrapped by 2017. All this is happening while demand for the Air Force increases: The service flew approximately 400 sorties per day in Afghanistan and Iraq during 2011, while also fighting in Libya and delivering thousands of tons of disaster relief aid to Japan after its earthquake and tsunami. C-130s have been central to all these operations, and the proposed cuts will reduce airlift capacity among all the Air Force’s components: active, reserve, and guard. Sequestration would be even worse, mandating equal percentage cuts down to the program level across the service, with no flexibility for Air Force leadership to target the cuts. But as the wildfire in Colorado shows, readiness and flexibility are sometimes needed at home as much as abroad. Cutting more C-130s puts a greater strain on the entire Air Force fleet.
Pay close attention to Obama’s priorities on this. Will he put trout ahead of swing state voters? His administration already took three days to respond, a timeline that got George W. Bush clobbered in the press despite the fact that most of the problems during Hurricane Katrina were local.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: coloradofires; obamafirephotoop
I'm not sure this is a legitimate complaint. The problem is more than just Obama, isn't it?
1 posted on 06/27/2012 1:27:55 PM PDT by Avoiding_Sulla
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To: Avoiding_Sulla

It seems that BHO is going to tour fire areas on Friday between fund raising events.


2 posted on 06/27/2012 1:30:38 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: Avoiding_Sulla

If it was Montana burning do you think he would be there? No.

A swing state with 9 EVs, like CO? You bet.


3 posted on 06/27/2012 1:34:15 PM PDT by cicero2k
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To: Avoiding_Sulla

It is more a result of the fact that America placed Obama in power and since he seized power, we watched Texas burn, Colorado burn, the worst drought in Texas history, and dozens of killer tornados in the South and great plains.


4 posted on 06/27/2012 1:34:51 PM PDT by Uncle Slayton
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To: Avoiding_Sulla
How much of this can be attributed to "Pine Bark beetles"?


5 posted on 06/27/2012 1:43:30 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: svcw

“It seems that BHO is going to tour fire areas on Friday between fund raising events.”

I take it there are local golf courses at risk?


6 posted on 06/27/2012 1:44:37 PM PDT by Stosh
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To: Stosh
LOL. Now there is something uniquely OBummer.
7 posted on 06/27/2012 1:48:40 PM PDT by Avoiding_Sulla (How humanitarian are "leaders" who back Malthusian, Utilitarian & Green nutcases?)
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To: Avoiding_Sulla

That’s an interesting comment
Does Baraq ever play golf outside DC/NoVa?

There has been speculation he can visit with folks on the golf course that don’t have to be “logged in” like they would be at the WH.


8 posted on 06/27/2012 1:53:23 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: DuncanWaring

When I was skiing in Steamboat about 15 years ago, I went on a “Nature Ski” with a naturalist from the Forest Service. She was explaining about how the pine bark beetles were going to kill the lodgepoles and either the fir or spruce (forgot which), thus altering the beauty of the area forever. I asked why they didn’t just eradicate the beetles and save the trees. She looked at me as if I had two heads. “Why, it wouldn’t be NATURAL!!!”


9 posted on 06/27/2012 1:55:54 PM PDT by Montanabound
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To: Avoiding_Sulla
Nah, Obama really cares about the greenery out west:


10 posted on 06/27/2012 1:55:54 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: DuncanWaring
How much of this can be attributed to "Pine Bark beetles"?

Yep. And how much of that can be attributed to The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, enviro radicals and road-less initiatives? Obama fellow travelers all.

11 posted on 06/27/2012 1:59:47 PM PDT by MileHi ( "It's coming down to patriots vs the politicians." - ovrtaxt)
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To: DuncanWaring

“How much of this can be attributed to “Pine Bark beetles”?”

In the areas burning, very little of it. Most of the areas are still very green. It is just dry as can be out here, such as 6% humidity is common right now.


12 posted on 06/27/2012 2:05:13 PM PDT by CodeToad (Homosexuals are homophobes. They insist on being called 'gay' instead.)
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To: Avoiding_Sulla

Personally, I believe it is more than possible many of these raging fires that are costing $$$ not only to put out but $$$ to insurance companies and families are a form of terrorism. I mean look....if someone wants to bring terror why not start a huge blaze? I do honestly believe some of this is arranged by homeland terrorists (not all of them, but think about it.)


13 posted on 06/27/2012 2:06:12 PM PDT by sevinufnine (Sevin - "If we do not fight when we know we can win, we'll have to fight when we know we will lose")
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To: DuncanWaring

Pine bark beetles feed on trees which have weakened natural defenses. Trees have weakened defenses when they reach the end of their natural life span, or when poor growing conditions weaken them. The trees in many fire areas suffer from overcrowding, perhaps the result of good growing conditions for the first 30-40 years of their lives. Eventually the trees get big enough to crowd each other too much, and most of them die. Beetles move in at some point during the decline. Seems like a natural process to me.


14 posted on 06/27/2012 2:14:14 PM PDT by STYRO (Do not accept unconstitutional government as legitimate government.)
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To: DuncanWaring
The Pine Beetle is a factor but the drought is the main factor. There is an Arsonist in Colorado Springs as per news report before the big fire.Radical ‘environmentalists” sued the forest service to stop cleaning and sound management of the forest which greatly increased the pine beetles. Obama’s environmental policy is a disaster in many areas of AMERICA!
15 posted on 06/27/2012 2:15:48 PM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: STYRO

I had been given to believe that tree’s defense against bark beetles is to increase their sap production, to flush them out.

But, during a drought, they can’t produce enough sap, and the beetles win.


16 posted on 06/27/2012 2:29:32 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: Avoiding_Sulla

The Democrats and conservation activists won’t allow loggers to clear trees killed by that (chinese?) beetle. People in states invaded by this beetle will have to stand and watch helplessly as everything goes up in flame when a spark hits, what has become a forest of kindling.


17 posted on 06/27/2012 2:39:29 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: DuncanWaring

this is not a joking matter and I am praying hard for those folks.

However, we need to flush the sap in the White House.


18 posted on 06/27/2012 2:42:24 PM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: svcw

BHO will pour some Perrier out the window en route to a fundraiser in Vail. Media orgasm will follow.


19 posted on 06/27/2012 2:46:51 PM PDT by JohnBovenmyer (Obama been Liberal. Hope Change!)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

I am going to say he waited 15 days before commenting (if he actually has) because he want’s white people to die.


20 posted on 06/27/2012 3:12:17 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
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To: JohnBovenmyer

Hope he burns.


21 posted on 06/27/2012 3:21:14 PM PDT by bfree (OBAMI IS THE ENEMY OF FREEDOM)
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To: svcw

“It seems that BHO is going to tour fire areas on Friday between fund raising events.”

it seems that bho is going to tour fire areas AS ANOTHER FUND RAISING EVENT. fixed. he should have toured last night. it would show him what his afterlife is going to look like.


22 posted on 06/27/2012 3:36:30 PM PDT by bravo whiskey (If the little things really bother you, maybe it's because the big things are going well.)
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