Not quite ten years ago, in May of 2001, Robert Tracinski wrote the following:
Past regulations have been imposed in the same manner that the new, less-restrictive process is being adopted: by executive-branch decree. The result of those decrees over the past three decades has been a vast environmentalist land grab, with millions of acres of land sealed off from logging, mining, grazing and even recreation. This is a basic technique used by the Left to achieve through the regulatory agencies what they could not achieve in an open vote. The technique is to introduce legislation to achieve some vague, positive-sounding generality, such as “worker safety” or “environmental protection” – things no politician will want to go on record voting against….
Consider that federal regulatory agencies make thousands of rulings each year, adding about 80,000 pages annually to the Federal Register. Do you think Congress can exercise “oversight” by debating all 80,000 pages of these regulations? Do you think the president, his advisors and his cabinet officers can consider and personally approve all of these decrees?
Of course not.
And the very process which Robert Tracinski describes above, far from diminishing, has suddenly accelerated. To wit:
On April 16th, 2010, Barack Obama released a so-called Presidential Memorandum, which he and his clownish administration termed “A 21st Century Strategy for America’s Great Outdoors.” Did you hear about it? You’re not alone. In fact, that’s part of the point: legislation by stealth.
Quoting Michelle Malkin:
Across the country, White House officials have been meeting quietly with environmental groups to map out government plans for acquiring untold millions of acres of both public and private land. It’s another stealthy power grab through executive order that promises to radically transform the American way of life….
Take my home state of Colorado. The Obama administration is considering locking up some 380,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land and private land in Colorado under the 1906 Antiquities Act. The Vermillion Basin and the Alpine Triangle would be shut off to mining, hunting, grazing, oil and gas development and recreational activities. Alan Foutz, president of the Colorado Farm Bureau, blasted the administration’s meddling: “Deer and elk populations are thriving, and we in Colorado don’t need help from the federal government in order to manage them effectively.”
The bureaucrats behind Obama’s “Great Outdoors Initiative” plan on wrapping up their public comment solicitation by November 15. The initiative’s taxpayer-funded website has been dominated by left-wing environmental activists proposing human population reduction, private property confiscation, and gun bans, hunting bans and vehicle bans in national parks.
Make no mistake: this issue is entirely about private property, which is the crux of freedom, and which the religion of environmentalism explicitly seeks to do away with.