Monday, January 9, 2017

Report: Antiquities Act ripe for lame-duck abuse

The Shasta Lantern passes along a report from the Institute for Energy Research that examines President Barack Obama's record of designating monuments under the Antiquities Act and the larger issue of enabling a "politically unaccountable lame-duck president to arbitrarily make national policy as he leaves office."

From the report:
On December 28, 2016, President Barack Obama designated over 1.5 million acres for two new national monuments—Bears Ears in Utah and Gold Butte in Nevada. The Bears Ears monument covers 1.35 million acres—a region larger than the state of Delaware, and the Gold Butte monument covers about 300,000 acres. Obama’s decision limits access and activities on vast amounts of land, reducing the ability of state lawmakers and the citizens to have a say over how these public lands are used. The federal government controls 25 percent of all land in the United States—50 percent of land west of the Rocky Mountains and 85 percent of the land in Nevada.

President Obama used the Antiquities Act of 1906 to reduce access to federal lands 29 times during his presidency. Only Franklin D. Roosevelt has used this authority more frequently.

The Antiquities Act was created to allow the president to keep historical or prominent archeological sites from being immediately destroyed when such destruction might occur too quickly for Congress to prevent. Because the monument designations in Utah and Nevada do not present an emergency, they should fall under Congress’s purview rather than the President’s.
In separate reports posted over the weekend, the Lantern examines how leaked audio of Secretary of State John Kerry shows that Obama wanted ISIS to grow (to weaken the Assad regime in Syria) and details the shooting of a U.S. consular official in Mexico.

No comments:

Post a Comment