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Trump SHRINKS two national monuments that cover more than 3.6 million acres in Utah

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Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...rump-shrinking-2-national-monuments-Utah.html

Trump SHRINKS two national monuments that cover more than 3.6 million acres in Utah
Published: 14:45 EDT, 27 October 2017 | Updated: 17:32 EDT, 27 October 2017

Trump has approved reducing the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah, reversing federal protections from former Democratic presidents

Donald Trump is shrinking two national monuments in Utah, accepting the recommendation of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to reverse protections established by two Democratic presidents, a Republican senator said Friday.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said he was 'incredibly grateful' that Trump called him on Friday to say he is approving Zinke's proposal on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

He and Trump 'believe in the importance of protecting these sacred antiquities,' but said there is 'a better way to do it' by working with local officials and tribes, Hatch said.

Hatch's office said Trump called the senator and said, 'I'm approving the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase recommendation for you, Orrin.'


Zinke recommended in September that the two Utah monuments be shrunk, along with Nevada's Gold Butte and Oregon's Cascade-Siskiyou.

The two Utah monuments encompass more than 3.6 million acres - an area larger than Connecticut - and were created by Democratic administrations under a century-old law that allows presidents to protect sites considered historic, geographically or culturally important.

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Bears Ears National Monument in Utah is 1.3 million acres and is on land that is sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites

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Bears Ears was designated for federal protection by former President Barack Obama

Bears Ears, designated for federal protection by former President Barack Obama, totals 1.3 million acres in southeastern Utah on land that is sacred to Native Americans and home to tens of thousands of archaeological sites, including ancient cliff dwellings.

Grand Staircase-Escalante, in southern Utah, includes nearly 1.9 million acres in a sweeping vista larger than the state of Delaware.

Republicans have howled over the monument designation since its creation in 1996 by former President Bill Clinton.

Conservation groups and tribes have vowed to file lawsuits if Trump attempts to rescind or reduce the monument designations.

A poll conducted by The Salt Lake Tribune found that a slight majority of people from Utah believed the Bears Ears National Monument to be too big.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (pictured) said he was 'incredibly grateful' that Trump called him on Friday to say he is approving Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's proposal on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments

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Grand Staircase-Escalante includes nearly 1.9 million acres in an area of land larger than the state of Delaware

A poll found that Utahns opposed by a two to one margin that breaking up the older and larger Grand Staircase-Escalante into smaller monuments

Trump asked for the review this spring following complaints by Hatch and other Republicans that the 1906 Antiquities Act had been misused to create oversized monuments that hinder energy development, logging and other uses.

The review included sweeping sites mostly in the West that are home to ancient cliff dwellings, towering sequoia trees, deep canyons or ocean habitats roamed by seals, whales and sea turtles.

National monument designations add protections for lands revered for their natural beauty and historical significance with the goal of preserving them for future generations.

The restrictions aren't as stringent as national parks, but some policies include limits on mining, timber cutting and recreational activities such as riding off-road vehicles.

No president has tried to eliminate a monument, but they have trimmed and redrawn boundaries 18 times, according to the National Park Service,
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
So the ecowacko nutcases are going to sue if we, the people, get our country back from the illegal criminal land grabs! Zinke said the "Sue and Settle" extortion is OVER!
 
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JBinNM

Well-Known Member
Are there any maps of the proposed Shrinkage ?

I've been watching but haven't seen any maps yet. I think the biggest clue so far is from this article in the Moab Times today:

Zinke recommended that the 1.35-million-acre monument be reduced in size. Utah leaders have advocated for a 120,000-acre monument that would exclude some areas currently protected, such as the Indian Creek Recreation Area popular with Moab climbers. The area falls outside of what state lawmakers have suggested should remain a monument — and President Trump has said he will respect the state lawmakers’ requests.

Moab Times-Independent - Bears Ears in Trump crosshairs Environmental groups Utah Native tribes strongly oppose move
 

bubba

Well-Known Member
I think both of these spots could be reduced in size without compromising much today, but the big picture is not what is best for today but what is best 100 years, 200 years down the road and that is where today's proactive larger size really shines bright and pays off.

Could you imagine if Glen Canyon dam was approved by Obama and trump decided to shrink the dam to only 100 feet high? The lake would be smaller, camp spots would be tight and clustered and the overall adventure and enjoyment would be less. I remember the days of boating at Powell and not seeing another boater all week. I remember hiking to horseshoe bend on a horse trail and being the only one there all afternoon, now there are thousands of people a day and you can drive a RV to the edge if you ignore the signs.

I disagree that the shrinking of natural recreational areas should be celebrated. It appears the legacy of Obama or Clinton to set aside these areas for those distant generations from now is shadowed in short range vision or ignorance or just simple hatred.

In time every trumper will be found questioning their judgement. This is bigger than Obama or Clinton or trump or you, it is teeing up Utah as the world go to spot for wide open adventures for centuries to come.

In 10 years demand for coal will be zero and demand for oil will be much less than today but the damage will be done if this area is reduced in size to permit drilling and mining, think failed EPA site in CO. Trump is not about you, he is about trump and making money. If you are a trumper the joke is on you and when you discover this you won't be laughing you will be angry. 41 and 43 were both recently in the news, how sweet it was even though it did not seem so at the time.
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
Bubba, you might want to take another look at what is happening here. Clinton's grand staircase illegal land grab shut down existing mines and almost destroyed the economy of Kanab! Obama's Bears Ears land grab is totally opposed by the people that actually live there, as it will destroy their way of life! The Grand Canyon illegal land grab will shut down a lot of existing jobs! Not one of these dictatorial actions to close off the West will do anything for the environment, but will devastate the people that depend on their jobs in these places! Every one of these land grabs is designed to force people off the land and into the cities where we will be easier to control!
Oh, and BTW, coal and oil will be just as necessary 10 years from now as they are now. solar, wind, etc have been around for 50 years, and produce ZERO percent of our power without massive taxpayer subsidies!
 
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Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
I think both of these spots could be reduced in size without compromising much today, but the big picture is not what is best for today but what is best 100 years, 200 years down the road and that is where today's proactive larger size really shines bright and pays off.

Could you imagine if Glen Canyon dam was approved by Obama and trump decided to shrink the dam to only 100 feet high? The lake would be smaller, camp spots would be tight and clustered and the overall adventure and enjoyment would be less. I remember the days of boating at Powell and not seeing another boater all week. I remember hiking to horseshoe bend on a horse trail and being the only one there all afternoon, now there are thousands of people a day and you can drive a RV to the edge if you ignore the signs.

I disagree that the shrinking of natural recreational areas should be celebrated. It appears the legacy of Obama or Clinton to set aside these areas for those distant generations from now is shadowed in short range vision or ignorance or just simple hatred.

In time every trumper will be found questioning their judgement. This is bigger than Obama or Clinton or trump or you, it is teeing up Utah as the world go to spot for wide open adventures for centuries to come.

In 10 years demand for coal will be zero and demand for oil will be much less than today but the damage will be done if this area is reduced in size to permit drilling and mining, think failed EPA site in CO. Trump is not about you, he is about trump and making money. If you are a trumper the joke is on you and when you discover this you won't be laughing you will be angry. 41 and 43 were both recently in the news, how sweet it was even though it did not seem so at the time.

The joke is most decidedly not on me. I didn't like either #41 or #43. Voted for Perot in 92 and only voted for #43 because there was no other choice, he was a terrible President. Trump on the other hand has a record increase in the stock market, created 2 million new jobs in 9 months... keeping all the promises he ran on. I am a happy camper with my choice.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
Some remarks of mine in bold and enclosed by { }
I think both of these spots could be reduced in size without compromising much today, but the big picture is not what is best for today but what is best 100 years, 200 years down the road and that is where today's proactive larger size really shines bright and pays off. {Pure conjecture}

Could you imagine if Glen Canyon dam was approved by Obama and trump decided to shrink the dam to only 100 feet high? {False analogy} The lake would be smaller, camp spots would be tight and clustered and the overall adventure and enjoyment would be less. I remember the days of boating at Powell and not seeing another boater all week. I remember hiking to horseshoe bend on a horse trail and being the only one there all afternoon, now there are thousands of people a day and you can drive a RV to the edge if you ignore the signs. {This is more an argument against population increase vice protected acreage. Otherwise sooner or later we'll need to close off feverything, everywhere and just give control to the government in toto so they may decide which animals are more equal than the other animals so as they might visit the utterly protected world}

I disagree that the shrinking of natural recreational areas should be celebrated. It appears the legacy of Obama or Clinton to set aside these areas for those distant generations from now is shadowed in short range vision or ignorance or just simple hatred. {Again, pure conjecture seething with disdain for the Deplorables}

In time every trumper will be found questioning their judgement. This is bigger than Obama or Clinton or trump or you, it is teeing up Utah as the world go to spot for wide open adventures for centuries to come. {Notice how the worst president in history along with one of the most corrupt in history warrants a capitalized name but Trump does not. I guess which end of the political spectrum you are on is not in doubt.:confused: Oh, and again conjecture.}

In 10 years demand for coal will be zero and demand for oil will be much less than today but the damage will be done if this area is reduced in size to permit drilling and mining, think failed EPA site in CO. {This has departed conjecture into pure delusional thinking. Remember the favorite arguing position of the left which is sans facts. Sans facts your argument can be anything you desire and there is never a perceived need to justify any position taken. Pure delusion and not even cute.} Trump is not about you, he is about trump and making money. {Yeah that's it! Reference my previous statement.} If you are a trumper the joke is on you and when you discover this you won't be laughing you will be angry. 41 and 43 were both recently in the news, how sweet it was even though it did not seem so at the time.{Not sure what you are referring to but 43 is an establishment globalist which is very close to the left. His foray into the news was just to bash Trump which of course he absolutely refused to do with obama (<-- see I can do it too) because it just "wouldn't be his place or appropriate." Ha! Then there is 41 who was equally as terrible that has just been found to be a dirty old man that likes to grab a** because he can. Remember the absolute power quote. Just remember everyone should vote not for the best candidate but, for the least evil candidate which disqualifies any liberal/democrat/progressive.}

While I'm at it, here is opinion but not conjecture:
Anyone that supported or supports the progressive left is tantamount to supporting totalitarian Marxist philosophy which of course ultimately ends in some bastardized form of communism. All of these people fall into one or more of four categories;
  1. They are a Marxist/socialist/progressive or even an anarchist in the early stages.
  2. They are truly ignorant of facts, history and human failings.
  3. They are mentally deficient. The PC term is mentally challenged which is interchangeable with idiots, morons and/or mentally retarded.
  4. They are just deadbeats looking for a handout.
Of course these people feel that the more of EVERYTHING that the government controls the better. Oh, and they also think we'll all see that, not today, maybe not tomorrow but, someday. Perhaps around the same time that Global Warming destroys the planet.

Check 6, ;)
Goblin
 
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Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Goblin, Progressives fail to grasp the land belongs to the people not the government. How the government gained control over so much of the west is in itself a story of corruption and over reach. Protect the artifacts - though it seems many were more protected before government decided to protect them by creating monuments and then "tours" to view them.. but the land belongs to all of us.
 

John P Funk

Well-Known Member
In 10 years demand for coal will be zero and demand for oil will be much less than today but the damage will be done if this area is reduced in size to permit drilling and mining, think failed EPA site in CO. Trump is not about you, he is about trump and making money. If you are a trumper the joke is on you and when you discover this you won't be laughing you will be angry. 41 and 43 were both recently in the news, how sweet it was even though it did not seem so at the time.
Did you learn nothing from our discussion about the closing of the Power Plant? We have enough cheap coal in the US to supply our needs for 500 years, and as soon as we remove the arbitrary and unrealistic requirements set forth by Obama's EPA, we can start using it for ourselves again rather than shipping it to China for them to burn. Secondly, the Bears Ears monument designation really only changed one aspect of the access to these already Federal Lands, and that is to prevent mining, and oil exploration. San Juan County will struggle to pay for its services as they can no longer receive lease payments from new exploration/production. Thanks to Obama, we're so deep in debt to China, that if their economy stumbles, we very well may have to sell off these monuments to pay the note.(This is a bit of an extreme view, but it has been proposed as possible.) Won't it be nice to know that your entry fees are going overseas, along with our jobs?
 

JBinNM

Well-Known Member
Did you learn nothing from our discussion about the closing of the Power Plant? We have enough cheap coal in the US to supply our needs for 500 years, and as soon as we remove the arbitrary and unrealistic requirements set forth by Obama's EPA, we can start using it for ourselves again rather than shipping it to China for them to burn. Secondly, the Bears Ears monument designation really only changed one aspect of the access to these already Federal Lands, and that is to prevent mining, and oil exploration. San Juan County will struggle to pay for its services as they can no longer receive lease payments from new exploration/production. Thanks to Obama, we're so deep in debt to China, that if their economy stumbles, we very well may have to sell off these monuments to pay the note.(This is a bit of an extreme view, but it has been proposed as possible.) Won't it be nice to know that your entry fees are going overseas, along with our jobs?
Same thing for Grand Staircase - created only to prevent coal mining on the Kaiparowits (in my opinion). No other reason at all.
 

GregC

Well-Known Member
John and JB, Remember, you're trying to explain this to someone who thinks it realistic to require a football field to park a Volkswagen, just in case one of the lug nuts of the antique fell off on the way to its final resting place, and may still be recoverable.

GregC
 

Dale

Well-Known Member
All these illegal land grabs by Willie and Obozo were to shut down American energy production and make us dependent on our enemies! I call them traitors!
 

birdsnest

Well-Known Member
While we're at it, how come I never hear the discussion about why the second amendment is in place? Our founding fathers new that the only way to keep government in check was to arm it's citizens. The discussion always seems to revolve around hunting or self defense but not about taking our country back in case the government does not abide by the constitution. Our justice system is already broken, what will be next? It's almost like no one dares to just say it. We are armed to defend ourselves against the very same government that is supposed to defend us. Just say it. The politicians have gotten fat and careless eating at the the pig trough that is called taxes. There will be a reckoning, just don't know what it will be. Certainly some people will go past the tipping point out of frustration then a push back. The pendulum is swinging hard.
 
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Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Same thing for Grand Staircase - created only to prevent coal mining on the Kaiparowits (in my opinion). No other reason at all.


Actually it was created to give the mandatory NAFTA clean coal to Indonesia instead of Utah. It was a quid-pro-quo between Clinton and The Riady-owned Indonesian Lippo Group.... tied up our clean coal and the only other clean coal is the Riady-owned coal in their Indonesian mines - they ship their coal to Mexico [who is mandated to burn only clean coal in their power plants] instead of us shipping it to them from Utah as we were doing previously.

The Clinton-Riady Coal Conspiracy
By Ron Ecker, January 25, 2008 in Political Conspiracies


Ron Ecker

Posted January 25, 2008 (edited)
The Clintons' Coal-Gate

By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2008 4:20 PM PT

As Bush wrapped up his Middle East trip, Sen. Clinton commented: "President Bush is over in the Gulf now begging the Saudis and others to drop the price of oil. How pathetic."

A large part of America's energy dependence on foreign sources can be traced to Sept. 18, 1996, when President Bill Clinton stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon on the Arizona side and signed an executive proclamation making 1.7 million acres of Utah a new national monument.

While sitting on the Arizona side of the Grand Canyon, Bill Clinton signed an order that federalized 1.7 million acres of Utah.

Why would he dedicate a Utah monument while standing in Arizona? Well, this federal land grab was done without any consultation with the governor of Utah or any member of the Utah congressional delegation or any elected official in the state. The unfriendly Utah natives might have spoiled his photo-op.

The state already had six national monuments, two national recreation areas and all or part of five national forests. Three-quarters of Utah already was in federal hands. Still, the land grab was sold as a move to protect the environment.

At the time, the Clintons were worried that Ralph Nader's presence on the ballot in a few Western states would draw green votes from Clinton in a race that promised to be close after the GOP retook Congress two years earlier.

In fact, the declaration of 1.7 million Utah acres as a national monument, thereby depriving an energy-starved U.S. up to 62 billion tons of environmentally safe low-sulfur coal worth $1.2 trillion and minable with minimal surface impact, was a political payoff to the family of James Riady.

He's the son of Lippo Group owner Mochtar Riady. James was found guilty of — and paid a multimillion dollar fine for — funneling more than $1 million in illegal political contributions through Lippo Bank into various American political campaigns, including Bill Clinton's presidential run in 1992.

Clinton took off the world market the largest known deposit of clean-burning coal. And who owned and controlled the second-largest deposit in the world of this clean coal? The Indonesian Lippo Group of James Riady. It is found and strip-mined on the Indonesian island of Kalimantan.

The Utah reserve contains a kind of low-sulfur, low-ash and therefore low-polluting coal that can be found in only a couple of places in the world. It burns so cleanly that it meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act without additional technology.

"The mother of all land grabs," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said at the time. He has called what was designated as the Grande Staircase of the Escalante National Monument the "Saudi Arabia of coal."

When Clinton signed the proclamation, he promised to exchange other federal lands for the land that was taken. But a fair exchange was impossible, Hatch said, since no other land in Utah had a trillion dollars worth of clean coal.

Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, pointed out that a large portion of the coal-rich Kaiparowits Plateau within the monument belonged to the children of Utah. When Utah became a state in 1896, about 220,000 acres were set aside for development, and a trust fund was created to collect and hold all the revenues directly for the benefit of schools.

Margaret Bird, trust officer for the fund, said that because the land will not be developed, the schools stand to lose as much as $1 billion over the next 50 years. Phyllis Sorensen, head of the Utah chapter of the National Education Association, called Clinton's action a "felonious assault" and "stealing from the schoolchildren."

Stealing from children to reward Indonesian billionaires. How pathetic.

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.a...285982232964929
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
http://www.americanthinker.com/arti...ns_other_truly_bodacious_mine_boondoggle.html


April 27, 2015
The Clintons' Other, Truly Bodacious Mine Boondoggle
By Jack Cashill
The New York Times reported this week on the unseemly transfer of cash from parties interested in a major uranium deal to the Clintons. The Canadian company selling Uranium One to the Russians donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation. And Russians tied to the deal gave Bill Clinton $500,000 for a Moscow speech.

The deal had global consequences. It would put one fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States under Russian control. So critical was the deal that it needed the approval of the U.S. State Department. State approved the deal, and it managed to so without fanfare. Hillary had failed to disclose the Canadian donors to Obama’s White House – this despite her presumed agreement to do just that.

As outrageous as this deal sounds, however, it was not the Clintons’ most egregious adventure in mining skulduggery. That adventure climaxed nearly twenty years ago – September 18, 1996, to be precise – when then President Bill Clinton unilaterally transformed a 1.7-million-acre slice of southern Utah into a new national monument.

“We’re saying, very simply, our parents and grandparents saved the Grand Canyon for us,” Clinton told the cheering crowd. “Today, we will save the Grand Escalante Canyons and the Kaiparowitz Plateaus of Utah for our children.” Less than two months before the 1996 presidential election, the national media chose not to ask why Clinton had made so astonishing a move.

The answer could be traced back to the November 1994 midterms. On that black Tuesday, Democrats lost fifty-two seats in the House and eight in the Senate. Mario Cuomo lost. House speaker Tom Foley lost. Popular Texas governor Ann Richards lost to underdog George W. Bush. Newt Gingrich now loomed as Speaker of the House.

Bill and Hillary Clinton caught the blame. After days of anger and self-pity, they began to focus again on the one principle that had directed their lives to date: getting Bill re-elected. Not by chance, just a week after the election, the Clintons were heading to the one place in the world most capable of nurturing a comeback: Indonesia, the home base of the Riady family.

The Riadys had bailed Clinton out as governor when he mismanaged Arkansas’s Teacher’s Retirement Fund. They had rescued him with cash twice on the 1992 campaign trail. They had seemingly bought off Clinton aide Webster Hubbell before he had to seek a deal with Whitewater prosecutors. Soon enough, Clinton would reciprocate.

The mood on the Indonesia trip was sour from the beginning. On the seemingly endless flight over, then adviser George Stephanopoulos reported, “The president and Hillary rarely left their cabin.” This could not have been Bill’s idea. What transpired in that cabin is unrecorded – in Hillary’s memoir, Living History, there is no trip to Indonesia – but from this moment on, the presidency would assume a much sharper edge, and Hillary was doing the sharpening.

It was with this trip, for instance, that the CEOs accompanying the Clintons saw their $100,000 donation to the DNC morph from a discreet expectation into the price of admission. With this trip, too, shadowy figures like Gene and Nora Lum, John Huang, Charlie Trie, and Thai citizen Pauline Kanchanalak began to operate in the open. All would later be charged in one scandal or another.

In Jakarta, Bill Clinton quickly got down to business. He chided Democrats for their historic “adversarial” relationship with business and Republicans for their “inactive” one. Boasted Clinton, “We have unashamedly been an active partner in helping our business enterprises to win contracts abroad.” Unashamedly? As to human rights, Clinton made clear that there were different rules for Indonesia from those for South Africa or Serbia. “We do not seek to impose our vision of the world on others,” he groveled. “Indeed, we continue to struggle with our own inequities and our own shortcomings.”

The CEOs, like John Bryson of Mission Energy, had more important things on their minds than human rights. Bryson wanted the White House to lean on the Asian Development Bank to support a massive new coal-fired electric plant for Indonesia called the Paiton project. Although Paiton was hailed as the first “private” electric plant in Indonesia, “private” had a different meaning in Indonesia from what it means elsewhere. In this case, it meant owned and operated, at least in part, by the “Indo ruling family,” the Suharto clan.

According to Commerce Department notes from John Huang’s file, a certain percentage of this project was set aside for a management company owned by Suharto’s daughter. The cut for her and other relatives was to be a $50-million upfront loan to be paid back through presumed profits generated by the plant. This arrangement troubled the ADB, which was reportedly “skiddish” (sic) about offering what amounted to a $50-million bribe to the family of a corrupt oligarch, paid, at least in part, by the U.S. taxpayer.

John Huang met with the CIA on the Paiton project as well. What the CIA did not know is that after the meeting, according to the Thompson Senate Committee, Huang repaired to “a secret office” and placed a three-hour call to his former employer, the Riadys’ Lippo Group.

Lippo had a lot at stake. Mission Energy, as it turns out, was part of a larger consortium known as Edison International, and Edison was a Lippo partner. There is more. Suharto’s family had secured an exclusive, no bid, no-cut contract to supply clean coal to the Paiton power plant. The family’s financial backer in his Indonesian coal mining business was none other than Mochtar Riady. The Lippo Group controlled one of the only two commercially viable low-sulfur coalmines in the world, this one conveniently located near the Paiton plant in Indonesia.

The other one just happened to be located in Southern Utah. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer reported that the people of Utah were “furious” with Clinton for signing away their future. They claimed that the move was “a land grab” by the federal government “at the economic expense of the state.” Blitzer raised the issue of coal – perhaps $1 trillion’s worth of clean, low-sulfur coal – that would never be mined. Said the president of this grand environmental gesture, “We can’t have mines everywhere and we shouldn’t have mines that threaten our national treasures.”

In her memoir, Living History, Hillary does not talk about the deal. Bill gives it a paragraph in his memoir, My Life. “My action was necessary to stop a large coal mine that would have fundamentally changed the character of the area,” said Clinton. “Most of the Utah officials were against it, but the land was priceless, and I thought the monument designation would bring in tourism income that over time would more than offset the loss of the mine.”

In a stroke of the pen, Clinton had handed the Riadys a monopoly on the world’s supply of low-sulfur coal. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to connect the dots between Utah and Indonesia. The FBI had made the connection as well. Consider the following field notes from an FBI interview with Huang:

HUANG laughed in response to questions concerning J.RIADY’s interest in Utah coal restrictions. J. RIADY’s coal interests were minimal. Indonesia had significant infrastructure problems which prohibited the development of its coal resources.

Huang was lying. The Riadys had a powerful interest, and they would exploit it for all it was worth. In fact, at the Paiton plant, the price of the coal exceeded the price of the electricity produced. Each kilowatt generated drove the plant deeper into debt. Of course, this meant there were no profits, which meant Suharto’s family members did not have to pay back their up-front $50-million loan. If this plot sounds familiar, it is because it is nearly identical to that of Mel Brooks’s play and movie, The Producers.

PLN, the state Indonesian power company, caught the drift of the plot. In 1999, the company sued the Clinton administration. Its attorneys charged that U.S. officials knew the Paiton power plant contract to be awash in “corruption, collusion, and nepotism” from the beginning. In December of that year, an Indonesian court ruled in its favor. The PLN estimated that it had lost over $18 billion in total from Suharto corruption inside U.S. government-sponsored power plant contracts.

In September 1996, even if the media had been interested, Bill Clinton made his move too close to the election to allow for serious scrutiny. In April 2015, Hillary Clinton is much more exposed, much too early. If need be, her allies will bury her before it’s too late.

Fire in the hole!
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
Note: Utah gets 70% of it's power from coal and it has among the lowest cost of energy per household in the nation......


https://www.deseretnews.com/article...ory-of-families-jobs-and-Americas-future.html

Utah coal: A story of families, jobs and America's future
By Amy Joi O'Donoghue @amyjoi16
Published: Aug. 29, 2015 5:45 p.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Coal has been a part of the fabric of Utah for 161 years. But its future as a key energy resource is in question and may have reached a critical tipping point. Today staff Writer Amy Joi O'Donoghue begins a three-day look at the issues surrounding this issue and the impact on Utahns.

ORDERVILLE, Kane County — A few years ago, Riley Anderson was a long-distance parent and husband, compelled to take care of home life over a phone, imagining kisses and hugs from his little girl and wondering when he'd see his family again.

Days stretched into weeks while he worked out-of-town construction jobs or chased the pipeline, working on the installation of a natural gas line across much of Utah.

He now lives in the town where he grew up, has since moved his family to Orderville and can wave at his father from the kitchen window. It's where he graduated from high school and punched cows and now where he takes Andee, 7, to the local riding arena and teaches her to handle her big dun horse alternately nicknamed Elvis and Thunder.

A job opening at the local coal mine put Anderson's family back together again.

"As long as there is work here, this is a good place to raise a family," he said. "This mine has been a good opportunity for a lot of people to be able to stay here, make a living."

His wife, Hanna, said she no longer feels like a single mom in a married relationship.

"We would have never been able to come here and survive if not for the mine," she said. "Without it, we would still be sitting in Mesquite, struggling."

Anderson was hired to work for Alton Coal Development and is the surface mining superintendent at the site, which has plans for a 3,500-acre expansion to mine coal on federal land. Another expansion to private land is also planned, pending before state regulators.

Both efforts are the focus of a concerted campaign by the Sierra Club and other critics of coal mining who want to see the resource stay in the ground.

Alton submitted its application to mine the federal coal 11 years ago, a process that received another delay when the Bureau of Land Management announced in early August it was extending a public comment period on its environmental analysis of the proposal.

The controversy over Alton's planned expansion illustrates the growing tension and scrutiny enveloping the use of coal as an energy source, not only in Utah, but across the country and globally in places such as China.

Earlier this year, the Sierra Club and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $60 million campaign aimed at closing half of all U.S. coal-fired power plants by 2017, calling coal production an outdated technology, hurtful to both the economy and to health.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan released this month is the nation's most stringent set of regulations aimed at curbing emissions from existing power plants, the most significant weapon the Obama administration has unveiled thus far in what conservatives call the White House's "war on coal."

In Utah, the landscape of coal, the mining industry and its energy portfolio are changing as a result of these pressures — pressures that threaten to alter a relationship forged 161 years ago when the territorial legislature offered a "cash prize" for the first usable coal deposits found within 40 miles of Salt Lake City.

Utah has 1,605 people employed in its coal mines directly, with the industry generating nearly $594 million in production in 2014, according to Rob Simmons, the energy policy and law manager for the Governor's Office of Energy Development.

Out of 25 coal-producing states, Utah is ranked 14th overall in the nation, but has seen its demand for Utah coal-produced electricity decrease by 64 percent between 2008 and 2013 due to a variety of factors that include low natural gas prices, the recession and environmental regulations.

Amid this pressure, the push is on for "clean coal" technology and ways to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions, reducing them to very low levels so power plants can withstand regulatory and environmental scrutiny.

In the interim, the coal mining industry in Utah and across the country is compelled to weather the tempest.

Consider:

• Utah's oldest power plant, Carbon, closed earlier this year in the wake of a new federal mercury emission rule that took effect. With the plant's closure came the loss of 70 jobs impacting Carbon and Emery counties.

• The Deer Creek Mine in Emery County, owned by PacifiCorp, shut down this year, leading to 182 lost jobs after the utility company said the mine was too costly to operate.

• The Utah Geological Survey said the state's coal mines face steady depletion of their reserves and mining conditions are becoming increasingly difficult. The West Ridge Mine is expected to close later this year.

• Demand for Utah coal has sharply decreased domestically with the conversion of power plants from coal to natural gas, according to the Utah Geological Survey, and about one-fifth of the nation's coal-fired generating capacity has already been retired.

Alton's Coal Hollow mine sits on a coal field where Utah geologists conservatively estimate there are 9.1 billion tons of recoverable coal. It is Utah's only above-ground, or surface mine — what critics call a strip mine — and is about 15 miles away from Bryce Canyon National Park.

The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign has launched strident opposition to the mining operation and expansion plans, citing possible impacts to the park, wildlife and the rural community's way of life, poised to change with the rumblings of more coal haul trucks down Main Street in Alton and in Panguitch. The organization brought on a Utah "organizer" in February to fight coal in the state for the first time and go after Rocky Mountain Power's coal utilization.

Beyond the environmental impacts of coal mining and burning it for fuel, critics attack the financial viability of coal in a nation that is increasingly turning its attention to renewable resources like wind and solar.

Wind, sun and coal

"I guess when the wind stops and the sun isn't shining, we won't have any power," argues Bob Nead, one of the owners of Alton Coal.

He's a big man with a soft, Southern drawl and a sharp sense of humor. He keeps his crews laughing, even if they appear a little uncertain how to take his wit.

"We are so regulated it is unbelievable," he said. "It's strictly about harassment from the Sierra Club. It is about not burning coal, not anything else."

Anderson, sitting in the cab of a big white pickup directing those surface mining operations, said he doesn't think much about the complaints over coal.

When Alton began mining coal, company officials promised they would hire locals for the above-ground mining operations, bringing on unemployed or out-of-sorts men who could not find a decent living in their hometown.

Anderson has been with the company two years and benefitted from that promise.

He insists on wearing his cowboy hat underneath the hard hat, a symbol of how he grew up living.

"This is all new to me," noting that his father and grandfather ranched. "It is a great opportunity for families in this area and to not have to travel. It is a good-paying job, with good benefits and you are home every night."

But the changing landscape is something most Utahns, especially along the Wasatch Front, overlook, according to state officials.

"Our whole way of life is based on our power system. I think Utah residents take it for granted," Simmons said.


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Battle lines

Like other coal-rich states such as Pennsylvania or those with abundant hydropower, Utah's electricity rates are among the 10 lowest in the country and well below the national average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Coal critics say those cheap rates come with other costs via health and planet-damaging pollution emitted from the burning of fossil fuels.

In the United States, power plants emit 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which scientists say contributes to climate change.

The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign has targeted coal-fired power plants in Utah, with a lawsuit filed Aug. 21 against state regulators regarding the Hunter plant, along with legal battle being waged over regional haze groups say threatens Utah's national parks experience.

Coal "supporters" have fired back. With the industry under attack and jobs dwindling, Friends of Coal West and the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute have held rallying meetings in Carbon County, where communities are becoming increasingly nervous over a future linked to coal.

"You lose it and what do we have?" questioned Danny Blanton, a Carbon County artist working on a coal miner's memorial set to be unveiled Sept. 7 in downtown Price.

Locals say that when the Great Recession began to sweep through the country in 2008, it largely bypassed communities like Huntington, Helper and Price due in part to the active coal industry.

"We saw it dip but we did not see the escalation of unemployment and housing because we are largely stable. In my personal view, we weathered it better than other places in the state because of the coal industry," said Carbon County Commissioner Jae Potter.

Potter said that 80 percent of the county's economic livelihood comes from coal mining and power generation, financial well-being that is at risk because of increasing federal regulations and the anti-coal campaign of environmental groups.

"I am really concerned, and that concern comes from the overreach of the federal government and especially with the EPA," he said. "The coal that is mined here is wonderful, both in its viability in energy production and its ability to be clean. And the technology is there that will allow mining to remain a large part of the economy here."

Land and people

The pressure is already forcing tough decisions on the region's coal miners.

Over a barbecue lunch at Nead's Alton Coal mine, a group of workers discusses the jobs they once had at places like Deer Creek, Lila or West Ridge mines.

The men work four 10-hour shifts in Kane County, then drive the three-and-a-half hours it takes to get home to Huntington or Price to be with their families on weekends.

"It's a good living, good money, with good people," said Josh Spigarelli, a Helper resident who worked at West Ridge and Lila Canyon mines.

At Alton, the miners pull down an average of $40,000 to $50,000 a year — not counting overtime — and a fiscal analysis on energy and energy-related mining released this year by the Governor's Office of Energy Development puts coal mining income at nearly $133 million for 2013.

The men are in large part following the resource. Utah's deep underground coal mines are getting harder to work, with expansions planned at four mines to get at more accessible seams of coal.

Utah has the deepest coal mines in the country, but at Alton the coal is barely below the surface, part of one of the nation's most abundant coal beds that stretches under Bryce Canyon National Park, the town cemetery and even onto Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

The town postmaster, Orval Palmer, said when a Utah congressman visited Alton in the 1970s and asked the location of the coal bed, Palmer just stamped his foot and pointed down.

"I told him, 'You're standing on it," he said. "It's everywhere."

The Sierra Club's national director, Michael Brune, said the proposed expansions of Utah's coal mines need a reality check and ignore the hard truth that coal as an energy source is on its way out.

"What we are seeing is a rapid, dramatic transformation in the electric industry," he said. "Coal is being significantly downsized and being replaced by a whole lot of other resources … The fact that so much coal is coming off-line is really historic."

Coal reliance

The majority of the coal produced in Utah is consumed in Utah at its power plants, providing about 70 percent of the state's power generation, down this year with the Carbon plant's closure and the 2014 start of the Lakeside natural gas plant's second unit, Laura Nelson, executive director of the Governor's Office of Energy Development, said.

While it has no plans to expand its reliance on coal-fired electrical generation, Rocky Mountain Power is in the crosshairs of environmental groups like the Sierra Club and HEAL Utah, which say the utility company's energy portfolio locks in coal use over the next 20 years, ignoring "cleaner" sources like wind and solar.

The groups argued last week in a formal petition that the utility's regulator, the Public Service Commission, should reject Rocky Mountain Power's long-range blueprint for energy because it is too coal-heavy, forcing rate payers to buy power that is "bad for their health."

But all sources of energy have a tradeoff, creating their own unique brand of environmental impacts — from the 3,500-acre Mohave solar plant that chased away a Los Angeles commitment for power because of impacts to wildlife to a plan that proposed anchoring 170 wind turbines off the coast of Cape Cod, spoiling ocean views.

At his energy summit earlier this year, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert stood by the state's reliance on coal, while noting at the same time a transition to cleaner energy sources will naturally occur as technology improves.

While there have been painful signals about the health of Utah's coal mining industry, there are other indicators for optimism.

A coalition of four rural Utah counties, supported by the Governor's Office of Energy Development, have committed to spend $53 million for a bulk export terminal for Utah coal and other products at a former Oakland, California, Army base.

The seaside shipping port will help Utah's coal industry offset weakening domestic demand by tapping into other countries' hunger for coal, especially in the Asian market.

Export of Utah coal to foreign markets is not new — the state was shipping coal to the Pacific Rim in the 1970s, and in the mid-1990s foreign exports were booming.

That leaves two points of view: either investment in Oakland signals a strong, viable future for Utah's coal mining industry, or it represents a desperate attempt to keep it on life support when the plug should have been pulled long ago.

The Utah Geological Survey's Dave Tabet said the state has enough coal to keep mining for another century.

"There is a lot of coal in Utah if people want to continue to keep mining it," he said, noting it could carry on for 50 to 100 years if people keep burning it and there are markets demanding the resource. "Right now, given markets and the political climate, coal is being seen as a dwindling resource in terms of desirability in the marketplace."

Back in Carbon County, Potter says that view needs to change.

"I hate the war on coal, I hate what the administration is doing, especially the EPA," he said. "The outreach against coal does away with an industry and it does away with jobs. And it does away with the biggest thing Utah has to offer: the low cost of utilities. I think we are going to have to be ready to stand up and fight."


The Andersons aren't spending a lot of time thinking about that fight going on around them, busy with their lives in a community that graduated six high school seniors in May.

On one night after work, Riley Anderson is able to sit down with Kaylee, 15, and helps her with a resume, part of a homework assignment. He gives a kiss to Hanna, who is cooking spaghetti and meat sauce on the stove.

When Andee sweeps into his arms, the quiet father almost blushes in front of company.

"This job," Hanna Anderson said after a pause, "has made all the difference for us."
 
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