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Posted: 3/5/2010 8:30:17 PM EDT
I shamelesly stole this directly from a post in GD:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-na-utah-domain3-2010mar03,0,841750.story

Reporting from Salt Lake City - Long frustrated by Washington's control over much of their state, Utah legislators are proposing a novel way to deal with federal land –– seize it and develop it.

The Utah House of Representatives last week passed a bill allowing the state to use eminent domain to take land the federal government owns and has long protected from development.

The state wants to develop three hotly contested areas –– national forest land in the Wasatch Mountains north of Salt Lake City, land in a proposed wilderness area in the red rock southwestern corner of the state, and a stretch of desert outside of Arches National Park that the Obama administration has declared off-limits to oil and gas development.

Supporters argue that provisions in the legislation that granted Utah statehood allow it to make such a land grab. They also hope to spark a showdown in the Supreme Court that would rearrange the balance of power between states and the federal government.

Some legal experts say the effort is unlikely to succeed, but Republican state Rep. Chris Herrod, one of the authors of the bill, said the state had little choice.

"I love America, and I'm a peaceful guy," Herrod said, "but the only real option we have is rebellion, which I don't believe in, and the courts."

The eminent domain proposal is among the most audacious yet in a state accustomed to heated battles over the two-thirds of its land owned by the federal government.

This is the state, after all, where local officials bulldozed their own roads through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, tore down signs barring off-roading in Canyonlands National Park and, with funding from the statehouse, spent years unsuccessfully defending those actions in federal court.

The eminent domain proposal quickly drew scorn from environmental groups.

"This is an ideological fantasy," said Scott Groene, executive director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance in Moab. "Everybody knows this isn't going to happen. The federal public lands are the thing that makes the American West so great."

The proposal is one of a host in statehouses nationwide that show a deep discontent with federal authority. Eight legislatures have passed resolutions asserting, to various degrees, the sovereignty of their states.

In Utah, a dozen measures have been introduced since January that defy the federal government. It has reached such a pitch that the House's Democratic leader last week complained that Republicans were spending too much time on such proposals.

The most aggressive efforts are generally by conservative groups, but Michael Boldin of the 10th Amendment Center in Los Angeles –– named for the constitutional clause that some contend limits federal power over states –– said that states' rights were also being cited by liberals in support of state proposals to legalize marijuana and gay marriage.

In the Intermountain West, particularly in rural areas, residents have long complained that federal preservation of land has prevented development that could provide reliable jobs and bolster the tax base.

Last week, a Utah congressman warned that the Obama administration was plotting to create two national monuments in the state, and Republican Gov. Gary Herbert announced that he would meet with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to urge him to reconsider.

The administration said the hullabaloo was sparked by a memo identifying areas that could be protected at some point in the future, not imminently.

A spokeswoman said Herbert supported the concept of the eminent domain proposal but was unsure whether it would survive a legal challenge. The bill's authors contend they can rely on the legislation that brought Utah into the union in 1896, which they read as requiring the federal government to sell its land in the state and give Utah a 5% cut.

The legislators want to seize and open two roads through national forest land that the federal government closed. This would allow access to state land that they hope to sell to developers to build high-end cabins.

A third area would be more provocative: a swath of federal land outside Arches National Park where the George W. Bush administration, on the eve of the 2008 election, authorized oil and gas exploration. The Obama administration reversed the decision.

Legal experts contend that the federal government is under no obligation to sell its land in Utah and that no state could successfully seize federal property.

"It flies in the face of history and is also inconsistent as a point of law," said Bob Keiter, a law professor at the University of Utah.

Keiter and others argue that the move illustrates a pattern in recent Western history –– a conservative backlash to the election of a Democratic president. After Jimmy Carter was elected in 1976, the movement known as the Sagebrush Rebellion helped lock up the West for the GOP and put Ronald Reagan in the White House.

President Clinton faced a similar backlash, aggravated by his creation before the 1996 presidential election of Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument.

"Utah has this history of grand conservation gains," Groene said. "Every time it happens it triggers this anger. And 20 years later we always look back and agree that conservation was a wise idea."
Link Posted: 3/5/2010 9:05:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/5/2010 9:06:31 PM EDT by AK-AR-FAN]
Ohhhhh Yeahhhhh! This shit works both ways, bitches!

The greenies can suck it too.

We've got to use their tactics against them, and this is a great step.
Link Posted: 3/5/2010 10:06:41 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/6/2010 7:42:16 AM EDT
Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Sadly, we are so tied to federal dollars I can't imagine anyone with enough stones to try, let alone getting it passed

Wishful thinking though

I wonder if it could be a ballot initiative? Though they have made that damn near impossible now as well


Federal dollars?

If the greenback is to be saved the savior must be private industry making jobs and creating value by utilizing lands that truly belong to the state anyways.

The gov has very successfully killed business and development for some time by land and power grabs. Eminent domain is an excellent way to take it back and put it to use, create jobs and wealth.
Link Posted: 3/6/2010 9:08:02 AM EDT
If we could poke an oil hole wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted we wouldn't need a sheet of fed paper.
Link Posted: 3/6/2010 3:03:02 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 8:33:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Originally Posted By AK-AR-FAN:
Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Sadly, we are so tied to federal dollars I can't imagine anyone with enough stones to try, let alone getting it passed

Wishful thinking though

I wonder if it could be a ballot initiative? Though they have made that damn near impossible now as well


Federal dollars?

If the greenback is to be saved the savior must be private industry making jobs and creating value by utilizing lands that truly belong to the state anyways.

The gov has very successfully killed business and development for some time by land and power grabs. Eminent domain is an excellent way to take it back and put it to use, create jobs and wealth.


Alaska has become so dependent on the federal dollar, our esteemed leaders couldnt survive if they federal tit dried up


9 Billion in reserve, 40 billion in the PFD. If we got pushed hard enough; we could.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 9:12:41 PM EDT
how much money does the federal govt take in taxes on the oil?
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 8:41:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 9:21:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Originally Posted By Strykewolf:
Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Originally Posted By AK-AR-FAN:
Originally Posted By uafgrad:
Sadly, we are so tied to federal dollars I can't imagine anyone with enough stones to try, let alone getting it passed

Wishful thinking though

I wonder if it could be a ballot initiative? Though they have made that damn near impossible now as well


Federal dollars?

If the greenback is to be saved the savior must be private industry making jobs and creating value by utilizing lands that truly belong to the state anyways.

The gov has very successfully killed business and development for some time by land and power grabs. Eminent domain is an excellent way to take it back and put it to use, create jobs and wealth.


Alaska has become so dependent on the federal dollar, our esteemed leaders couldnt survive if they federal tit dried up


9 Billion in reserve, 40 billion in the PFD. If we got pushed hard enough; we could.


56% of the workforce is .gov (city/borough/muni/state/fed)
look at our budget, 50 billion would be gone in no time at all
the "few: who would and could live that way are severely outnumbered by the many who can't/won't

Are you Anchorage and south central guys prepared to give up your gas subisdy and actually pay market prices? Are the south east folks ready to pay actual value for the ferry system? We have a huge retirement contigent in Alaska, are you going to do away with longevity bonuses and medicaid? What about the special needs children that our (atleast Fairbanks) school district pays in excess of $80,000 per student per year through the age of 21 for?

If all for cutting WAY back on our social services programs. Though the reality is that so many people have come to rely on these programs that no politician is going to committ political suicide by rocking the boat.


By the same token, if we could access our mineral wealth instead of being tied up for years in courts and Fed bs; fairly certain that AK would be well off.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 4:25:51 PM EDT
While I do see your point, I have to agree with Strykewolf. With our mineral and hydrocarbon wealth combined with the general hardiness of our citizens we would at first survive but in the end thrive without federal assistance/intervention. There would be a rough period, no doubt, but the again I have no doubt regarding the great people of this great state.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 5:48:34 PM EDT
If we would be allowed to find our own way w/o federali interference all the free loaders would leave and we would flourish with new development.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 6:41:41 PM EDT
just questions to ponder

does anyone know what the % is that we make off of our minerals (gold/silver) right now?

if the state went and took federal lands through eminent domain what makes anyone thunk they would think twice about taking any individuals land?

how much state land is currently held under lease by producers and not being developed and why?

we can't even get a pipe ran from the slope to ANYWHERE but i we took the feds land problems like that would just disappear?



Link Posted: 3/8/2010 7:59:12 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Alaskagrown:
just questions to ponder

does anyone know what the % is that we make off of our minerals (gold/silver) right now? not enough/next to none, we tax oil and gas too much and minerals not enough

if the state went and took federal lands through eminent domain what makes anyone thunk they would think twice about taking any individuals land? The state taking back management of land from the Federal gvt is the opposite of the state taking land from the private sector.

how much state land is currently held under lease by producers and not being developed and why? Alot, and it is not being developed because it is too expensive due to high taxes and over regulation by the EPA and other such agencies.

we can't even get a pipe ran from the slope to ANYWHERE but i we took the feds land problems like that would just disappear? The free market will decide when the pipe gets built. I think a gas to liquids facility located on the north slope may be a better alternative, but the federal government likely wouldn't allow the storage and manufacturing facilities necessary to be built for enviromental and other reasons.




Link Posted: 3/8/2010 8:24:52 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
Originally Posted By Alaskagrown:
just questions to ponder

does anyone know what the % is that we make off of our minerals (gold/silver) right now? not enough/next to none, we tax oil and gas too much and minerals not enough

if the state went and took federal lands through eminent domain what makes anyone thunk they would think twice about taking any individuals land? The state taking back management of land from the Federal gvt is the opposite of the state taking land from the private sector.

how much state land is currently held under lease by producers and not being developed and why? Alot, and it is not being developed because it is too expensive due to high taxes and over regulation by the EPA and other such agencies.

we can't even get a pipe ran from the slope to ANYWHERE but i we took the feds land problems like that would just disappear? The free market will decide when the pipe gets built. I think a gas to liquids facility located on the north slope may be a better alternative, but the federal government likely wouldn't allow the storage and manufacturing facilities necessary to be built for enviromental and other reasons.






1. I agree so you aren't looking at just increasing mineral development you are increasing development and taxes on the assumption that companies will still do it at increased tax rates they may or not I don't know

2. it wouldn't be just the management eminent domain takes land and the management along with it so really it isn't that different except the state can get way with one alot easier than the other.

3. I think it is high (state) taxes and higher operating overhead because the slope just flat out costs more to do anything in I don't think that the over regulation is as big a reason

4. so would it be the free market building the line or the state? its beginning to look more and more like the free market is finding sources for gas elsewhere.

so most here are smarter than me about most o this stuff why can't we ship the natural gas in the existing pipeline? what would it take? The reason I ask is there was a petroleum engineering student getting his PhD at UAF and his thesis was on that very issue. Apparently there was something to it BP snatched him up after graduation.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 9:01:40 PM EDT
The environmental costs of doing business up here are astronomical compared to places like Russia, China and the Stan's.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 6:04:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
The environmental costs of doing business up here are astronomical compared to places like Russia, China and the Stan's.


There has to be a balance, somewhere.

If the state played it's cards right; it could be done. Would just take willpower, and the support of enough residents.
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