May 1, 2017

Open season on federal lands

I always believed that "federal lands" were our country's natural resources savings account, to be preserved and protected for posterity, where wildlife and recreation took precedence over timbering and mineral extraction. However, today's executive action by President Trump opens them up for exploitation and extinction.

This is only part of today's message from the White House:

"We need an America-First energy plan. This means opening Federal lands for oil and gas production; opening offshore areas; and revoking policies that are imposing unnecessary restrictions on innovative new exploration technologies.”

And this less than 24 hours after an announcement about the Chinese demand for seafood that is pushing them to illegally fish off African shores because they have exhausted their own waters.

Science as well as the historical facts about oil spills and pipeline leaks are not the only truths that are morphing into "alternative facts." Opening offshore areas is a threat to Virginians, especially those in Virginia Beach. Fracking for oil in Virginia's federal forests threatens our waters. And this Virginian is not happy.

An "American First" energy plan that included a major push for innovative wind, solar and tidal power could have provided jobs too. But those are not the ones favored by lobbyists and the prevailing corporate bottom line. A sad day indeed.