Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Trump’s team releases new plans for drilling, mining in Utah national monuments

Trump’s team releases new plans for drilling, mining in Utah national monuments

Some eco-activists assert the move is in response to Sen. Romney’s impeachment vote to convict.

Legal Insurrection readers will recall that among his many initial acts as president, Donald Trump shrank the size of Bears Ears and and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments, releasing land that former President Obama designated as national monuments just before leaving office.

Now, the Trump administration’s Bureau of Land Management and Department of the Interior have released plans that include mining and drilling in those freed-up areas.

Bureau of Land Management and Department of Interior officials made minor changes to previous proposals. Those changes include reversing a controversial plan to allow grazing along most of the banks of the Escalante River — a tributary of the Colorado River that runs through 87 miles of south-central Utah that’s also a popular corridor for backpackers and tourists.

In addition, the BLM reversed a proposal requiring the removal of all human waste from the Bears Ears National Monument, allowing it to be buried within the monument instead. The finalized plans went into effect Thursday morning and implementation planning will begin in the coming weeks.

“These decisions mark an important moment in Utah’s history by providing certainty to local communities, business owners permittees and the recreating public on what activities are appropriate for those public lands,” Casey Hammond, acting Department of the Interior assistant secretary for land and minerals management, said Thursday in a conference call with reporters.

The move is being made despite pending lawsuits by conservation, tribal, and paleontology groups challenging the constitutionality of the president’s action.

Conservation groups that have called the decision the largest elimination of protected land in American history criticized the administration on Thursday for spending time on management plans they believe will become moot. They contend Trump misused the Antiquities Act to reverse decisions by previous presidents.

A federal judge last year rejected the administration’s bid to dismiss the lawsuits. In a recent court filing, tribal groups said the Bears Ears lands are “a living and vital place where ancestors passed from one world to the next, often leaving their mark in petroglyphs or painted handprints, and where modern day tribal members can still visit them.”

Department of Interior representatives denounce the scare-mongering about the potential environmental impacts related to these plans.

…[A]n economic analysis by the federal government estimates that coal production could lead to $208 million in annual revenues and $16.6 million in royalties on lands cut from Grand Staircase. Oil and gas wells in that area could produce $4.1 million in annual revenues, the analysis says.

If market forces shift, Hammond said the lands remain under federal control and governed by “time-tested laws” and subject to environmental regulations. He rebuffed the oft-repeated claim from conservation groups that there would be a “free-for-all” for mineral development.

“Any suggestion that these lands and resources will be adversely impacted by the mere act of being excluded from the monuments is simply not true,” Hammond said.

I do see one potential adverse effect: All the flooding from copious amounts of liberal tears.

Some critics say this move is being made to punish Senator Mitt Romney for his impeachment vote.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


For something like this … I’d vote D …

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to PODKen. | February 8, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    D for Drill Drill Drill…….

    PRNeoCon in reply to PODKen. | February 8, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    As you would for any one of a million other little things… I’m conservative until you touch my pet issue!

    Colonel Travis in reply to PODKen. | February 9, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Do you even understand what “something like this” even is? Clearly not. “This” is undoing a corrupt, massive land grab by Clinton and Obama, mostly Clinton. When Clinton attended the ceremony to open up GSE he didn’t even go to Utah. He did it from the freaking Grand Canyon. Why? Because Clinton didn’t consult any elected official in Utah about the land grab.

    Sorry, what was that?

    Clinton told Utah – screw you, we’re taking the land. Why? Because this jerk did it as a favor to a rich Indonesian donor who got in trouble for pouring in gobs of illegal cash to Clinton and others and whose family just happened to have a mine that was full of coal just like the coal where the new GSE was. Gee, that sounds like a quid pro quo.

    Trump isn’t even eradicating all the GSE land. All the cultural, geological, scientific, etc. important stuff is not going to be ruined by industry. The things that are unique and special to this area will remain untouched. This isn’t explained in the media and you are a shining example of the uninformed.

    I love southern Utah. It’s got some of the most beautifully rigged places on earth. But this ain’t like sticking a mine in the middle of Zion.

      When you say “land grab”, and “we’re taking the land”, this is not true, because it was already federal land. It had to be, or Clinton could not have declared it a national monument.

      But you’re correct in everything else. Utah objected to the declaration, because that federal land had been open to economic use, and now it suddenly wasn’t. I’m not sure of the exact motive, but the one you suggest sounds perfectly plausible; that’s how Clinton operated.

    caseoftheblues in reply to PODKen. | February 9, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Showing how truly short sighted, uniformed and unmoored you are from any logical reasoned ideas and policies….its all about the feelz and the lies spooned into your head. You are an unhinged leftist just admit it…you’ll feel better.

    BobM in reply to PODKen. | February 9, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    You can tell how non factual the critics are by looking at the one decrying “continuous shrinking” of the protected lands. Trump didn’t shrink [email protected] Obama issued an executive order to expand the size – on his way out the door and against the will of the locals – and Trump recinded the order so it merely went back to what it was before.

    It is ridiculous how large a percentage of many western states are already federally owned lands.
    It is no skin of a coastal liberals nose if half of a flyover state is sequestered by the feds from actual usage by the locals who live there so that coastal liberals who will never visit the place can feel all warm and fuzzy. To the lumberjacks and miners and farmers and ranchers who lose their livelihoods, it’s actual life-changing damage.

    If Californians and New Yorkers want to “preserve” western wildernesses by economically driving out the despicable slobs who actually live there, might I suggest they be treated to their own medicine.

    The entire state of California is totally dependent on imported water from other places that really could stand to keep it. Not just the California farmers, who are already getting shafted and their water allotments shrunk. The cities. If it’s so important to “preserve” desert in Utah, it’s equally important to “preserve” the desert that most of California is without imported fresh water in absurd mass quantities, damaging the ecosystems of the places California robs of their moisture. Let the libs in California either adapt to sustainable water usage, leave, or die of thirst.

    In NY state if the land claims of the native tribes was taken as seriously as libs want to take western tribes land claims, most of upstate would already again belong to the Six Nations. Of course, outside of the larger population centers upstate has the few remaining republicans left in the political monoculture that is Democratic NY, so the downstaters would get off Scott free. But why should they? Once upstate is under sovereign native rule, at the least stop importing clean fresh water to Dem strongholds like NY City so cheaply. In fact – start pressing for land claims downstate next, there really is no reason why those claims aren’t as valid as the upstate ones.

      Milhouse in reply to BobM. | February 10, 2020 at 4:14 pm

      It is ridiculous how large a percentage of many western states are already federally owned lands.

      Maybe, but the declaration and purported un-declaration of national monuments doesn’t affect that, because they can only be declared on land the feds already own.

    Dave in reply to PODKen. | February 10, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Eventually the 9th Circuit Court will uphold President Trump’s reversal of Obozo’s misuse of the designation of millions of square miles of federal lands as a National Monument. Obozo wanted to hobble America’s ability to be energy self-sufficient, and keep us beholden to the middle east.

      Milhouse in reply to Dave. | February 10, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      I don’t know if they will, and I don’t know if they should. The statute’s text gives the president the power to declare federal land to be a monument, but doesn’t give him the power to undeclare it. If you take the statute at its word, even 0bama himself could not have changed his mind.

      The real fix should be to remove this power from presidents altogether. Congress should be the one to declare national monuments, just as it is the one to declare national parks.

ScottTheEngineer | February 8, 2020 at 6:37 pm

I’d actually read the plan before I went with what someone wrote about it.

I became a Republican in 1994 when the media and democrats all came out screaming that republicans wanted to take away school lunches from poor kids. Turns out they wanted to add ketchup to the nutritional value of school lunches that wasn’t counted because its a condiment.

Anything which reverses the pernicious idea—that any one person can, for all eternity, decide how a patch of dirt is to be used—is OK by me.

The world belongs to the present and the future, not the past.

Probably not. Utahns want to reduce and reuse the large sequestered footprint of public lands, in order to recycle the land and resources for productive human purposes. Conservation, not environmentalism.

    n.n in reply to n.n. | February 8, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    In addition to reduce, reuse, and recycle, the profits from productive inclusion can be shared with the citizens of Utah to reduce their shared burden, which has been progressive with demographic change.

JusticeDelivered | February 8, 2020 at 6:58 pm

“All the flooding from copious amounts of liberal tears.”

This sounds like a good ecological way to lesson the impact of droughts 🙂

    Mr. Justice, DITTO! Maybe even the creation of a new and larger Great Salt Lake.

      n.n in reply to bear. | February 8, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      Enlarging the Great Salt Lake would mitigate urban sprawl a la Coruscant, where prime affordable real estate is [mostly] limited by mountains and aesthetic considerations to the valleys between.

No. Trump is not releasing “new plans for drilling, mining in Utah national monuments.”
The lands that will be open are NOT designated as National Monuments. The headline is misleading.

IF the President would like to expand drilling and fracking, might I suggest the area of Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago? The sight of derricks and excavation can’t be any more hideous than the proposed Obummer library.

Barry Soetoro | February 8, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Grand Staircase-Escalante was corruptly set aside by Clinton as a favor to the Indonesian Riady family who ran the Lippo Group conglomerate. Clinton was in debt to the Riadys for campaign donations cobbled together by them, and the federal land grab killed off a proposed development of the largest known clean coal deposit (to be extracted via underground mining) to the benefit of the Ridays’ coal mining interests in Indonesia. The grab had the additional benefit of deepening our dependency on foreign energy sources, and killing off jobs for Americans. Obama resumed this pattern of abuse of the Antiquities Act, and Trump is rolling back the abuse.

If Congress thinks Trump has gone too far, they can always pass a bill to create a National Park or Wilderness Area to protect truly valuable cultural or natural resources.

Clinton snatched millions of acres in Northwest Nevada. Black Rock Desert Wilderness. Calico Mountains Wilderness.
Big Rocks Wilderness. The Fed threw up locked gates all over the place. The infamous yellow gates.

Very few people hike or mountain bike the outback areas in these regions. It’s too remote. It lacks the sheer grandness of places like Yosemite or Brice. Finding potable water is a serious problem. If you get injured or your vehicle breaks down you may find that there’s no cell coverage and may be forced to walk 50-75 miles to Gerlach or Cedarville for help. It’s dusty as heck.

Most of the people traveling there are old school prospectors and OHV users not environmentalist-hikers from the SF or LA bay area looking for pristine hiking trails through hill sage and quaking aspens. It’s last place they want to go to.

Given enough time, Obama would have declared the entire country a national monument. The Earth wasn’t made just to look at. It’s called “the land of plenty” for a reason. God put it here for us to use. We can’t just spend our lives doing nothing but looking at things. We need to live.

Close The Fed | February 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm

Great move. Basically undoing one by one all the ropes tied down on us by the Lilliputians.

But, who will have the manly firmness to continue undoing them, once Trump is termed out?

Don Jr.? Kris Kobach?

Hardly a punishment to Romney, considering that Utahns would generally be happy about this move.

The b.s. in all this is that NO ONE will ever even notice the drilling going on, but opposition to it is purely emotional: either you don’t get the valued land will not be disturbed AT ALL (and you buy the left’s propaganda) or you don’t want prosperity because you are a fascist wanna-be or a brownshirt loser wanting a job to do violence for the swamp/left/islamic axis in this nation.

We just saw one of those losers audition in Florida: