Obama’s monument declarations propel his job-killing agenda
The Hill - If our Democratic and media friends are still trying to puzzle through how Donald Trump won the presidency, they will find no better clue than last week’s national monument designations in Utah and Nevada. It is the perfect snapshot of the twisted priorities that lost the votes of alienated American workers throughout the country.
Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate, but beyond her lackluster campaign, her private email scandal or even any alleged Russian hacking, the biggest millstone around her neck was the Obama legacy of selling out working men and women in America's heartland to facilitate the well-funded environmental imperialism of coastal and urban elite campaign donors.
When Hillary thrilled her “Enviro-imperialist” donors with her cheery promise to put coal miners out of work and energy companies out of business, miners and workers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio heard her loud and clear. Working American families throughout the nation’s rust belt had enough and turned the tide for Trump in this past election.
Now the Obama administration’s high-minded contempt for American working families has metastasized west. Struggling counties in Utah and Nevada last week learned that their residents’ right to earn a living and feed their families falls a distant second behind new hiking trails for absentee environmentalist overlords.
Never mind that the Bears Ears area was already amply protected, or that no mining or drilling was proposed anywhere near sensitive archeological sites. For this administration, catering to the whims of the elitist donor class from the Democrat archipelagos takes priority over the basic survival needs of American workers in flyover country.
Although Utah’s San Juan County is larger than the entire land mass of Massachusetts, the federal government controls 92% of the county’s land. How does a county fund basic services like public safety, education, health or assistance programs with a tax base limited to 8% of its area? It does so barely, if at all.
Low-wage seasonal jobs are welcomed, but they do little to bring prosperity. For prosperity San Juan County families count on ranching, mining or other extractive industries that are now closed off to them. These people do not measure government’s effectiveness by the generosity of its welfare benefits but by the opportunities created and freedoms preserved to allow them to earn their own way. In this they are no different than miners in Pennsylvania and Ohio, offshore drillers or constructors awaiting the go ahead to build the Keystone Pipeline; all have been stomped on by an “Envirocrat” president on his way out the door. The “tenure and trust fund” set will never understand that reality.
A monument designation grants federal bureaucrats life and death power over ranchers and others whose livelihoods depend on the land. These federal environmental colonizers can close roads to private property and even prohibit ATVs used by local tribes for hunting and gathering. Such a designation locks up over 100,000 acres of state school trust lands that should be generating badly needed revenue for Utah schools.
Most egregiously, the action dismisses thousands of hours spent by hundreds of officials and residents hammering out a seven-county compromise to provide economic and resource development opportunities on non-scenic lands (with no archeological value) in exchange for expansive wilderness protections even beyond the vast monument’s boundaries. (Mind you, this national monument is actually 1 million acres bigger than the largest of Utah’s 5 national parks.)
Envirocrats don’t care whether you can feed your family, educate your kids or make your mortgage payment as long as they can maintain southern Utah as their own personal “snow globe,” seen but not touched by anyone who doesn't take the Sunday Times.
Such feckless arrogance caused Democrats to lose the presidency and hemorrhage hundreds of state and local elected offices over the past eight years. Donald Trump won the election because he understood that better than they ever will, and in Bears Ears he has a chance to prove it.