What a Lovely Spot for a Strip Mine
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What a Lovely Spot for a Strip Mine

Valley of the Gods, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah. BLM photo.

Trump and Republicans Want National Monuments Opened for Development

Land rush. Trump is expected to sign an executive order reviewing federal protection for lands declared to be “national monuments.” That designation means the land is generally protected from logging, mining and commercial development.

Citadel Ruins, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah. BLM photo.

Utah Republicans were infuriated when former President Barack Obama created the Bears Ears National Monument in December on more than 1 million acres of land that’s sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings. Republicans also objected when Obama created the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine. Republicans have asked Trump to reverse the two designations, saying they add an unnecessary layer of federal control and could stymie development.

Safe (for now) ‘sanctuaries.’  A federal judge in California has blocked Trump from cutting off federal funds to cities that don’t cooperate with federal efforts to deport undocumented immigrants from our country.

No science here. Trump’s EPA office in charge of developing clean water standards for the states has removed the word “science” from its mission statement. “The language changes here are not nuanced,” Gretchen Gehrke of Environmental Data and Governance Initiative told the New Republic. “They have really important regulatory implications.” The new mission statement of the EPA Science and Technology Office now says it develops “economically and technologically achievable standards.”

Facing disbarment. The Connecticut bar will investigate a disbarment complaint against Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.

No business of government. An ethics group has filed a complaint about the State Department’s promoting Trump’s Florida getaway on its website. Common Cause called the promotion an “abuse of taxpayer dollars.”

April 26, 2017