02/28/12

 

How is it possible that this ruling has been made, and now here we are back again because entities didn't get what they wanted?

It is hard to believe that after the final rulemaking and listing of four species, years in the making,  Congressman Tom Rooney R FL with his bill HR 511 would feel he should negate and or overide the Department of Interior's decision on this issue in the complete opposite way one would expect.

Now that's what I call checks and balances! Propose excessive regulation and then aspire to prevent it from happening. I guess his "regulatory reform" applies to only rules not bills, but you get my point.!

I give credit for his proposal to work against excessive regulation, but one must ask why he is proposing excessive regulation?

Quotes below are from the link on his website are here:

http://rooney.house.gov/images/stories/Rooney_Jobs_Plan_Summary.pdf

"Regulatory Reform"

"This title works to rein in overreaching government red tape and regulations. The 2010 Federal
Register contains 24,914 pages of rules and regulations that employers and businesses must comply
with. The collective cost of these mandates amounts to $1.75 trillion each year and forces American
businesses to spend nearly 9 billion hours filling out paperwork. The current administration has
proposed 4,257 new regulations and, according to OMB, 219 of these new mandates would have an
economic impact of more than $100 million each to implement.

The Rooney plan would:

1.) Require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and for the President to sign-off on all
new major rules (defined as costing more than $100 million to implement) before they can be
imposed on job-creating small businesses or State and local governments.
2.) Congress and the President would have 70 legislative days to pass a joint resolution approving the
rule. If they fail to do so, the rule under consideration would not take effect.
3.) Would allow for an automatic end to Senate debate and eliminate the need for a cloture vote.
Therefore, the Senate would only need a simple majority, rather than 60 votes, to approve the rule."

 

Of course one would have to look no further than the end of Congressman Rooney's Jobs Plan Summary  to see that perhaps he might feel the need to give something back to the environmentalists by throwing them "the python bone." 

Clearly Congressman Rooney feels that oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear energy development can be done safely and at the same time preserve habitats, so why does he not believe that businesses can work with reptiles and at the same time preserve habitats?

Comparing snake safety to oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy safety, I would think the congressman could weigh the hazards and come to the logical conclusion that this bill is overreaching.

Again as quoted from the link here:

http://rooney.house.gov/images/stories/Rooney_Jobs_Plan_Summary.pdf

"Energy"

"This title opens up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS)
and oil shale for production. It also repeals a ban on allowing federal agencies to purchase “coal to
liquid” fuels and expedites the permitting of new and expanded nuclear power facilities. Specifically,
the Rooney plan would:
1.) ANWR: In 1980, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Coastal Plain of ANWR could
contain up to 17 billion barrels of oil and 34 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The plan opens the
Arctic Coastal Plain to exploration in an environmentally sound manner, which could yield an
additional one million barrels of oil per day. This would also require timely lease sales and revenue
sharing with the state.
2.) OCS: It is estimated that the OCS holds nearly 420 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas
resources and 85 billion barrels of oil. The plan would move forward with a leasing program on the
already open portions of the OCS. Additionally, it mandates that in each five-year leasing program,
the Secretary of Interior to include lease sales that offer oil and gas leasing for at least 75 percent of
the available un-leased acreage within each OCS Planning Area.
a. The plan expands state’s waters from 3 miles to 12 miles off shore.
b. The plan establishes a revenue sharing program that allows states, like Florida, to receive a
percentage of the revenues earned from leases off its coast.
3.) Oil shale: It is estimated that more than two trillion barrels of oil are held in shale deposits in the
Western United States. Shale oil located in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming is believed to be capable of
eventually producing 10 million barrels a day for more than 100 years. The plan codifies the oil shale
lease program and restores the leasing activities that were underway prior to being halted in February
2009. The plan mandates that a lease sale be held within 180 days of enactment.

4.) Coal to liquid: For over 30 years, U.S. tax dollars have funded research and development of coalto-liquid fuel technologies. There are more than 250 billion tons of recoverable U.S. coal reserves –
equivalent to an estimated 800 billion barrels of oil. U.S. coal can be converted through proven,
existing technology into clean, zero-sulfur synthetic oil and products. The plan repeals a 2007 law
that banned federal agencies from purchasing fuels derived from sources such as oil shale, tar sands
and coal-to-liquid technology.
5.) Nuclear: The 104 U.S. nuclear reactors provide 20 percent of our electricity and 72 percent of
our carbon-free electricity. Unfortunately, nuclear waste and regulatory barriers are seen as the most
significant impediments to the future development of additional nuclear power. The plan mandates
the permitting of 200 new nuclear reactors over the next 30 years by expediting the combined
construction and operating license procedure and establishing a process to pre-certify reactor designs
already operating internationally. Finally, the plan requires the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) to finish its review of the Yucca Mountain repository without political interference. If science
and technology disqualify Yucca Mountain, then the NRC is directed to find an alternative site."

 

This morning USARK sent out a press release regarding Confgressman Rooney's new bill:

USARK response:

 

"Pythons Make Strange Bedfellows; House Judiciary Markup on Python Ban Could Compound Economic Woes Dealt to Reptile Industry by Obama Administration
* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:00am EST

Pythons Make Strange Bedfellows; House Judiciary Markup on Python Ban Could Compound Economic Woes Dealt to Reptile Industry by Obama Administration

PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- From United States Association of Reptile Keepers -- "Politics make strange bedfellows," so the saying goes. Or maybe "Pythons Make Strange Bedfellows" would be more accurate? Today Congressman Tom Rooney hopes to pass his bill HR 511 (aka Python Ban) out of the House Judiciary Committee in an attempt to add 9 constricting snakes to the Injurious Wildlife list of the Lacey Act and potentially kill thousands of jobs and bankrupting countless family businesses in the process.

This comes on the heels of a four year crusade led by environmentalists and the Obama Administration to enact a rule at US Fish & Wildlife that would have done ostensibly the same thing. Ironically, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, prudently backed off listing 5 of the 9 because the scientific evidence was circumspect, and he wanted to avoid undue economic impact with lower risk animals. Rooney, in a recent press release claimed that the "administration did not go far enough"; putting Rooney squarely in the camp of the environmental NGO's that pushed the administration into enforcing their agenda.

The entire controversy revolves around a small remnant population of Burmese pythons introduced into the everglades about 20 years ago when Hurricane Andrew devastated south Florida as a category 5 storm. A small population was established, but was limited to 3 counties in the very southern tip of the state. Florida Fish & Wildlife officials have suggested that as much as 80-90% of the population died in the cold winters of 2009 and 2010. Several cold weather studies done by University of Florida and US Dept of Agriculture support that conclusion.

Licensed python hunters rarely see pythons anymore. But that has not stopped radical environmentalists and a small group of invasion biologists from attributing nearly every ecological problem of the Everglades to the scary specter of the Burmese python.

The python myth perpetuated by some politicians, government scientists and environmentalists has been criticized by more scholarly academics from around the world; including University of Florida, the National Geographic Society and the Thailand Natural History Museum. It was such an egregious example of government gone wild that Congressman Issa pointed toward problems with the rule in his Government Oversight Committee. Lack of due process, problems with information quality, $104 million in lost revenues, all based on a sensationalized myth seemed to be symptomatic of government agencies trying to justify their own existence and creating policy based on staff preference instead of facts and science. The actions of Government hurting commerce and criminalizing its citizens are supposed to be issues that Republicans typically fight against. However, the action proposed by Congressman Rooney will not only kill jobs, but put approximately 1 million Americans in jeopardy of becoming Lacey Act felons, and potentially displace thousands of snakes. How did the House Judiciary Committee get saddled with this crazy bill when there are so many important issues to deal with?"

SOURCE United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK)
 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/28/idUS91703+28-Feb-2012+PRN20120228