Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Mounmental Review

From the BBC:
"US parks may lose federal protection"

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order requiring a review of environmental protections given to lands owned by the federal government. The order aims to shrink the borders of national monuments created by previous presidents, which Mr Trump called an "egregious abuse of federal power".  Unlike national parks, which require an act of Congress, national monuments can be created by a presidential directive. However, a president does not currently have the right to abolish a monument. The White House intends to shrink the borders of existing national monuments that have drawn controversy from Republican lawmakers and the mining industry.  Environmentalists fear this order will unleash a wave of new oil and gas extraction, which was a Trump campaign promise.  It directs the Department of Interior to examine all lands designated as national monuments since 1996, and threatens the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which was created by Barack Obama during the final days of his administration. Utah lawmakers oppose the Obama action and have lobbied Mr Trump since his November election to overturn it.   Mr Obama placed 553 million acres under national monument protection during his presidency - more than any other US president.  This, his successor said, was an abuse of power. "The previous administration used a 10-year old law known as the Antiquities Act to unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control… eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land," Mr Trump said during a signing ceremony on Wednesday. "Today we are putting the states back in charge - big thing."

^ Trump has been in office for 100 days now and it seems that all he is able to do is make Executive Orders that in the end get stopped by the courts rather than doing anything concrete that stays. This current Order is just one of the many that show all the pomp and ceremony, but probably won't end in anything definite. It's time to do more than talk and more than symbolic Orders that don't last a basic check-and-balance review and start doing things that will last the test of time. ^

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