Kimberley is gentle before she lowers the boom:
First came Big Labor. Then the tort lawyers. What special interest lobby remains for the Democratic majority to reward for services rendered this past election?
The answer rests in the ecstatic press releases tumbling out of the nation's largest environmental groups, as they oversee the House's pending energy legislation. That is, if "energy" is the right word for West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall's green-payoff of a bill. Ostensibly the legislation is a rollback of any energy production advances of recent years. But also tucked deep in its heart is an extraordinary new tool to allow environmentalists to lock up private property across the country. Bill presented; bill paid.
Connect to the link above and see some of the Big Government plans to make Greeniacs and AGW fanatics your prospective landlords in fact if not in name. A snippet:
Broadly, the bill fulfills one big ambition of environmental groups in recent years: a rollback of any smarter use of public (or even private) lands for energy use. Gone are previous gains for more drilling, more refineries, more transmission lines. But the big prize was an unprecedented new power allowing green groups to micromanage U.S. lands. That section creates "a new national policy on wildlife and global warming." It would require the Secretary of the Interior to "assist" species in adapting to global warming, as well as "protect, acquire and restore habitat" that is "vulnerable" to climate change. This is the Endangered Species Act on steroids. At least under today's (albeit dysfunctional) species act, outside groups must provide evidence a species is dwindling in order for the government to step in. This law would have no such requirements. Since green groups will argue that every species is vulnerable to climate change, the government will be obliged to manage every acre containing a bird, bee or flower.
It's a green dream come true, carte blanche to promulgate endless regulations barring tree-cutting, house-building, water-damming, snowmobile-riding, waterskiing, garden-planting, or any other human activity. The section is vague ("protect," "assist," "restore") precisely so as to leave the door open to practically anything. In theory, your friendly Fish & Wildlife representative could even command you to start applying sunblock to your resident chipmunks' noses.
The avalanche is still waiting to be triggered by the slightest noise or tremor, but there is hope we will not be buried in a cascade of frozen anti-capitalist snow:
Mr. Rahall's bill still has a long way to go. Other sections of an energy policy are still mired in the House; the Senate has yet to weigh in; and President Bush, with any luck, will veto any legislation that grants a freeze of every dirt clod in America--publicly or privately owned. Still, when it comes to rewarding their friends in the green community, don't blame House Democrats for not trying.
The busiest beavers are the ones that dam the rivers of commerce.