Biden Closes MORE Land To Oil, Gas Drilling

P. Gardner Goldsmith | June 6, 2023
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Last week, MRCTV produced two articles and videos outlining the numerous attacks against energy independence and competition Joe Biden’s Administration has committed since he entered office in January of 2021. The bulk of those attacks were against inexpensive acquisition, refining, and transport of petrochemical fuels such as oil and natural gas.

And now, he’s added another to the ever-expanding list.

The Daily Caller’s John Hugh Demastri reports that, this time, the Biden “Bureau of Land Management” (BLM) bandits targeted New Mexico:“The Biden administration on Friday ordered a 20-year ban on new oil and gas drilling leases within 10 miles of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, according to multiple reports.”

And Demastri notes that the action has been “in the works” for almost two years.

“The moratorium — which the Department of Interior initially began considering in November 2021 — is a long-sought goal of several local politicians, conservation groups and Native American tribes that want to preserve the centuries-old Pueblo ruins located there, although some tribes have opposed the ban for limiting future economic opportunities, according to E&E News.”

Some Americans might applaud the Executive Branch action. Perhaps they enjoy “natural wonders” or buy into the unproven climate fearmongering that mankind’s use of cheap petrochemicals is going to lead to a temperature-heightened apocalypse.

“The move is the administration’s latest toward the President’s goal of conserving at least 30% of federal lands and waters by 2030, according to Reuters. The Biden administration recently blocked large swathes of Alaska from being eligible for drilling, and the Interior Department proposed rules that would allow conservation groups to lease lands for restoration purposes, similar to how oil and gas companies can lease land for drilling operations.”

But the beating heart of the controversy over moves such as this actually is fed by many historical and ethical veins, and, regardless of where one stands on the relative importance of a freer energy market versus more “natural wonders” kept “for the people,” one must recognize that we cannot know what “people” want or what they value unless politicians stop making the decisions about it.

This economic and ethical truism tells us that valuation is subjective, only reflected by individual, voluntary, action, and needs to produce a price signal that can be seen by others as they make their own judgements about supply, demand, and price.

This fundamental nexus point between economics and ethics means that resources only are labeled as such when real people reveal their value in market exchange. Politicians cannot tell others what they value, or how much of it they value relative to other things. With these lessons, we can see that a BLM bureaucrat or an entire “official” government not only insults economic truth, but also destroys the very definition of “value” when its tax-funded agents tell others how land – or any other thing – should or should not be valued and used.

It’s very possible that many folks might want to pay for a land area to be used for hiking, camping, or just left untouched. It’s just as likely that people might want to use it for other purposes. Unless that land is held privately, where an owner can decide, and rise or fall based on how customers respond, we will never know.

Related: Did Climate Cultist John Kerry Just Hint At Farm Seizure In the US?

But we do know some other basic truths. These are truths we can read, remember, and share with others, even as the preferences about how the land should be used remain hidden.

What is not hidden to Americans are the facts that the U.S. Constitution only grants the central government the so-called “power” to control three kinds of land. Those consist of the “ten-square-mile” area set aside for the national capitol, military garrisons, and territories, and when territories enter the union as states, they are supposed to enter with all the “rights and privileges” of every state.  Since no state ever is required to cede land to the feds, no territory need do so and no new state need do so. Even if they COULD, the federal government wouldn’t have any constitutional “authority” to run the land.

So, regardless of how many times Big Government apologists might repeat “Antiquities Act” like a mantra, these “national parks” and “wildlife preserves” and “national monuments” are supposed to be handled by the states, and that land, one hopes, would then be handled by private owners who would rise or fall based on what their use of the property (oil, gas, tourism, etc) provided to consumers.

Added to this is the fact that many “federally controlled lands” actually belonged to American Indian tribes, that many living American Indians can claim family inheritance rights, and the idea that, beyond the Indian Tribes issue, these huge areas (it owns nearly HALF of all land west of the Mississippi) often need some kind of private property ownership factor to incentivize owners to husband the land and prevent fires and erosion.

These are not considerations for the Biden gang. Instead, they virtue-signal, step on the U.S. Constitution and federalism, destroy the very ownership principle needed to produce value signals, and continue to disregard treaties with Indians that the US government long ago broke.

But we who watch this can learn. Even if we cannot stop it, we can use this new example of government overreach to recall the history, the economics, and the ethics, and pass that on to others. That education is one of the few things we can preserve and show that we value.

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