Salazar’s Choice: Non-lawyer human jobs or Polar Bears
Originally published by Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report
[Gamecock apologizes for recent Colorado governor faux pas; has updated his contact lens Rx and learned yet another humility lesson, this time with respect to the “two sources rule.” If you are unaware of the reason for this aside, don’t worry. This blog stands on its own.]
Given the post-1978 Three Mile Island history of Democrats standing in the way of economic development via radical environmental restrictions, which includes the President-Elects’ “green” tendencies in spades, the whole Obama promise to save or create three million jobs is called into question, unless one means only to create jobs for lawyers.
[We are also disturbed by the inclusion of the word “save” after first promising only to “create” two million jobs in an earlier ideation of the “stimulus” bill. Given that 154 million Americans are now employed, a President Obama could keep latest promise even if 151 million lost their jobs, but I digress.]
Michael Barone had earlier expressed some confidence that Obama’s choice of Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as Interior Secretary meant that Obama was serious about job creation.
I didn’t share the confidence, mainly due to the “d” after his name, and neither was environmental lawyer and conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt:
In his townhall.com column, Hugh Hewitt cites my recent blogpost on Interior Secretary-designate Ken Salazar and raises the question of how Salazar will deal with polar bears. Yes, polar bears. As Hewitt points out in this column and as he has written on his blog at hughhewitt.com, environmental restrictionists want to use the threat that supposed global warming poses to polar bears as the basis of legal suits to stop economic development not just in Alaska but throughout the United States. This sounds outlandish, but it’s true. No economic growth because it might raise temperatures in the Arctic, which might in turn reduce the number of ice floes that these attractive carnivores jump on.
As Hewitt has pointed out, polar bear populations have actually been increasing lately. The species is not endangered but thriving. In February 1998, I visited the oil fields in the North Slope of Alaska. It was 40-below zero (don’t ask which scale: It’s 40 below in both Fahrenheit and Centigrade), and I was being driven around in an all-terrain vehicle on ice roads. The vehicle had been warmed up for three hours, but I could still see my breath inside; the road conditions were such that we couldn’t go more than 30 miles an hour. “Wouldn’t it be great,” I said to the driver, “if we saw a polar bear.” “No, it wouldn’t,” he said. “A polar bear can run faster than this car can go and can punch through the windshield with his paw. And to him, you’re lunch.”
Democrats say they want major infrastructure projects. The usual argument against them—that they take too long to get up and running to stimulate a recessionary economy—is weak because the current recession threatens to linger and perhaps turn into long-running deflation. But we can’t have major infrastructure projects if environmental restrictionists sue and stop them in the name of the polar bear. This is something Democrats, especially Ken Salazar, might want to think about.
The GOP will have an increasingly unemployed captive audience of non-lawyers this year that expect Obama to keep his jobs promise. Moreover, there is no greater threat to the short and long term economic health of America that Obama’s love for teaching us lessons with high energy costs and bankrupting the coal industry.
President Bush already paved the way with the prospective ban on Edison’s light bulb and inclusion of the polar bear as an endangered species.
If we don’t stop such fundamental changes sure to be disguised as “stimulus”, then the polar bear will no doubt outlive an extinct American prosperity.
Energy is what makes prosperity possible.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson