Tag Archives: Resources

Malkin: ‘Crucify Them’ The Obama Way

In an article by Michelle Malkin, she describes the words, and following actions, of the EPA- a pattern of deceit and “ginned up” accusations against energy producers designed to intimidate those politically incorrect industries to stop producing low cost energy. Just another implementation of the goals outlined in Agenda 21.

One of President Obama’s radical eco-bureaucrats has apologized for confirming an indelible truth: This White House treats politically incorrect private industries as public enemies who deserve regulatory death sentences.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Al Armendariz, an avowed greenie on leave from Southern Methodist University, gave a little-noticed speech in 2010 outlining his sadistic philosophy. “I was in a meeting once, and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said,” he began. In a video obtained and released by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Armendariz then shared his bloody analogy:

“It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. … So, that’s our general philosophy.”

Echoing President Obama’s “punch back twice as hard” treatment of his political enemies, Armendariz explained to his underlings that “you hit them as hard as you can, and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up.”

In other words: Suck up, fly left, or face prosecution. The goal isn’t a cleaner environment. The goal is political incitement of fear.

Publicly humiliated by the video release of the persecution strategy session, Armendariz said he regretted his “poor choice of words” this week. “It was an offensive and inaccurate way to portray our efforts to address potential violations of our nation’s environmental laws. I am and have always been committed to fair and vigorous enforcement of those laws.”

Tyrannical actions, of course, speak louder than weasel words. And the record shows that Obama environmental overlords run amok.

It was Obama’s power-mad Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who vowed to keep his “boot on the neck” of BP after the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner colluded on a fraudulent report — condemned by federal judges — that completely distorted a White House-appointed expert panel’s opposition to the administration’s job-killing, industry-bashing drilling moratorium.

It was Obama’s EPA that railroaded a senior government research analyst for daring to question the agency’s zealous push to impose greenhouse gas rules. When Alan Carlin asked to distribute an analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases that didn’t fit the eco-bureaucracy’s blame-human-activity narrative, he was gagged and reprimanded: “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. … I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” Public relations management trumped truth in science, the deliberative process and fairness.

It was Obama’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cahoots with the witch hunters at the Department of Justice, that raided Gibson Guitar factories in Memphis and Nashville three years ago over an arcane endangered species of wood. The guitar police have yet to bring charges, leaving the company in costly legal limbo.

And as Inhofe pointed out in response to Armendariz’s “apology”: “Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best — and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

Indeed, Armendariz the Executioner tried nailing a drilling company — Texas-based Range Resources — to the cross in 2010 with an emergency declaration that its fracking work in the Lone Star State had contaminated groundwater. The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry, found no scientific evidence of the Obama EPA’s claims.

Forbes magazine reported: “In recent months a federal judge slapped the EPA, decreeing that the agency was required to actually do some scientific investigation of wells before penalizing the companies that drilled them. Finally in March the EPA withdrew its emergency order and a federal court dismissed the EPA’s case.”

Vice President Joe Biden is right about Obama’s “big stick.” Too bad he’s using it to beat down America’s domestic energy producers and wealth creators instead of our foreign enemies.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

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Oregon’s Land Use Regulations and Economic Destruction

Oregon State Rep. Richardson’s Newsletter
October 10, 2011


Ending Federal Timber Payments to Oregon;
Economic Collapse of Oregon Rural Counties,
A Statewide Concern

I am Dennis Richardson, a Co-Chair of Oregon’s Joint Senate-House Ways & Means Committee, and I write this newsletter on issues of significance for all Oregonians.

If you aren’t hungry or worried about your next meal as you read this, be grateful.  One of every five Oregonians is now receiving food stamps.

If you aren’t checking Craigslist for a job or sending out resumes, be thankful.  Almost ten percent of Oregon’s workforce is in the unemployment line.

Somber statistics, but the real tragedy, the deepest devastation lies in Oregon’s rural counties. And it’s about to get worse, much worse.

Notwithstanding the bipartisan coalition of Oregon’s federal elected officials who are working to extend federal timber payments, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack predicted extending benefits is not likely to occur.  Secretary Vilsack during his recent visit to Oregon stated that the federal program that provided as much as $253 million a year in payments to rural Oregon counties, the Secure Rural Schools Act, will not survive the Congressional super committee’s work to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal budget deficit.

If you live in an urban area and you still have a job and a home, maybe you don’t care that this will likely bankrupt at least two Oregon counties.  Maybe you don’t have time to worry about rural unemployment rates that have hovered near 20 percent for almost two decades.

But if you do care, then before you leave for work or go out for lunch, take a close-up look at poverty in our state; take a moment to google Curry County or Coos County, or for that matter just view the sweeping satellite image of our state – nearly half of which is blanketed with riches, deep green forests—Oregon’s richest natural resource.

And yet these are Oregon’s poorest areas, where methamphetamine destroys already broken lives, where hopelessness evicts the young and ambitious, where urban idealism has outspent and outlawed rural initiative.  Where generations of hard-working timber families once labored and thrived, depression now is a way of life.

Imagine if you lived in the midst of the natural resources necessary to save yourself and your family, and were ordered to abandon your tools, your dreams, and your community. Consider how demoralizing to be a fourth generation logger, out of work because of legal challenges to timber sales, who must stand by and watch Oregon’s forests in thick, black, carbon-laden smoke, as millions of acres are consumed in raging forest fires.  It wasn’t intended to be this way.

Rural Oregonians acted in good faith and believed in their elected leaders when they helped negotiate President Clinton’s 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, but since then teams of environmental lawyers have blocked the timber sales, closed the mills, and thwarted alternative recreation plans, leaving rural Oregon underemployed and dependent on government hand-outs.

How could the urban elected officials who set the agenda for our federal forests turn away from our most plentiful renewable resource?  How could they ignore our comparative advantage over other states?  Who is responsible for Oregon’s rural poverty, high unemployment rate and declining income?  How did this happen?

During the 1980s and 90s timber revenues from federal forests in rural Oregon counties plummeted.  Well-funded “eco-elites” [If this term offends you, see Note below.] shut down Oregon’s timber harvests by obtaining federal court rulings over the endangered species listing of the spotted owl.  More than 100 mills closed.  Thousands of family wage jobs were eliminated, drying up incomes and businesses in small mill towns across our state.  Annual timber harvests now hover at around 10 percent of levels associated with a more thriving Oregon.  Ironically, Oregon’s population of spotted owls continues to dwindle.

Faced with economic disaster from the loss of timber harvest revenues, rural counties turned to Congress for a solution.  Rather than correcting the misuse of the Endangered Species Act, Congress approved the Secure Rural Schools Act, which temporarily supplanted the lost income that once funded rural schools, government, and other essential services.
Instead of continuing to fund county services from timber harvest revenues, rural counties were paid hundreds of millions of dollars in federal welfare payments.

The counties were ordered to develop alternative economic plans.  Having achieved their goals of making Oregon’s rich forests of renewable timber legally off-limits and unavailable to be managed or harvested, Portland’s urban eco-elites promptly turned their backs and abandoned the counties to fend for themselves with meager resources.

For the past decade, politicians and the environmentalists have allowed rural Oregon counties to deteriorate and become ever more dependent on government handouts.  Now, in the face of massive federal deficits, nobody wants to defend any longer what are essentially welfare payments to counties in 40 states.

Portland and Oregon’s other major cities should wake up.  The last federal timber welfare payment checks are being issued, and they will mark the end of the primary source of revenue to some of Oregon’s rural counties.  There will be consequences felt in Portland, Salem and Eugene from the bankruptcy of Oregon rural counties.  As the urban eco-elites watch placidly from the sidelines, they should realize this rural economic meltdown will financially affect their schools, their county services, and their tax rates. State government is already being asked to intervene.  What will be the cost and how should we respond?

The solution is clear.  Ignoring Oregon’s vast timber resources is a failed policy and must be reversed.  Democrat leaders now must “man-up” and face their coalition of environmental supporters and say, “No more lawsuits.  Our neighbors are suffering; our rural communities are collapsing; our rural counties must be saved.  We must moderate our forest policy.”

Action is needed now.  Words are not enough. The federal government controls 53 percent of Oregon land, and rural counties depended on effective and productive management of those resources. They have been abandoned and betrayed.

The truth stares rural folks in the face day and night. There are no alternatives. There is no replacement economy. There is only the forest—one of the richest, greenest, fastest growing forests in the world.

There is only one solution – it’s vast, green, and sustainable.  Oregon needs a new forest timber policy.  The particulars of a new Oregon timber policy must be hammered out between the state and federal government.  It is not working to have the future of Oregon’s rural counties controlled three thousand miles away in Washington, D.C.

What should Oregon’s new timber policy look like?  One proposal is to place control of Oregon’s federal forests with the counties in which they are located.  In addition, to provide funding to Oregon’s revenue-starved timber counties Oregon’s Congressional Representatives Peter DeFazio and Greg Walden have proposed offering long-term leases on up to 1 million acres of Oregon’s federal timber land that is currently managed by the Federal BLM. A third idea is to have Oregon’s federal forests placed in a trust with Oregon assuming management and control of the timber assets.

Regardless of the final terms of the new Oregon timber policy, safeguards must be included that will stop the use of our federal courts as an eco-elitist weapon against responsible timber harvesting.

The time has come to reopen Oregon’s forests in a responsible manner. The time has come to reclaim our bounty, our birthright, and rebuild Oregon’s natural resource-based economy.  The economic future of both rural and urban Oregon depends upon it.

Sincerely,

Dennis Richardson
State Representative

P.S. If you have comments to share, please do so at: www.oregontransformation.com

P.P.S. Thanks to the Editors for publishing this article in the October 9, 2011 edition of The Oregonian.

NOTE:  It is difficult to find an acceptable term for those environmental/ecological activists whose focus is on maintaining pristine forests regardless of the economic consequences or the forest conflagrations such policies may cause.  Since those included in the term “eco-elites” were likely to be offended by any appellation I might use, this one will have to do until I can find a more suitable term.  Suggestions are welcomed.


Oregon Transformation: The Oregon Transformation Project (OTP) continues to serve as a clearing house for ideas to help promote Oregon’s economic recovery.  With the right ideas and enough concerned citizens to help implement them, we can rebuild a robust private sector, which is essential to maintaining Oregon’s quality of life.  OTP has just released a new T.V. commercial to help recruit interested Oregonians in joining OTP’s visionary efforts.  If you are interested in seeing it, Click here.

To hear real Oregonians tell their stories, and to sign up for OTP’s weekly Flashfacts, please visit www.oregontransformation.com.

Stay informed about Oregon Legislature: To keep up on what is going on at the Oregon Capitol and in District 4, please subscribe to my newsletters by email and YouTube, like my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter for regular updates.

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