Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tip of the Iceberg

The other day I was reading an article in the High Country News about a planned pipeline through the Ruby Mountains for the delivery of natural gas. The quick synopsis of the article was that the normal “watch dog groups” and other eco-nut groups were not fighting this pipeline but supporting it. What? Really? Well the motive behind their silence is due to the fact that the company working the project offered to pay 22 million over ten years to these groups in the name of conservation. Well hell, if I was bribed I would keep my mouth shut too. 

Whether it’s channels like the Land and Water Conservation Fund created by congress which diverts federal excise taxes from offshore oil and gas development operations, money generated by the sale of “disposable” BLM land, an up and coming energy bill with new taxes, the prospects of a new climate change bill with its own new assemblage of taxes or just plain bribery by big business; all are working to create a pool of money in the name of conservation. With this new capital resource every overeager, fanatic preservationist is lining up to fund “their” project. The means may differ but the end result is the same.

I am more of an environmentalist than most honest people are comfortable with, however, I won’t be misled to believe that these groups and the agenda of special interest isn’t really about chasing dollars and power. I have seen with my own eyes the dollars blown on the tortoise and Moapa Dace to be fooled into thinking that the endangered species best interests are at heart. I was directly affected by “Clinton's Legacy” so I have a hard time believing that politicians are worried about public lands and conservation but stimulated by the hopes of writing their name in American History‏ for their own notoriety.

It’s in the name of conservation however it’s in the spirit of money, greed and power. There is more than meets the eye…

We need to find a way to cut through all the wearied rhetoric and political nonsense and work to provide valid solutions to the real problems that face our public lands.