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House Passes Resolution to Shoot Down BLM Land Planning Tyranny

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Published on: February 10, 2017

Last week, I reported on a bill before the House of Representatives that would effectively censor the American people’s speech regarding how the unconstitutional Bureau of Land Management makes land management decisions.  I’m happy to report that this week, the House passed a resolution that will roll back the BLM’s Panning 2.0 rule, but there’s more work to be done.

Representative Christ Stewart (R-UT) spoke on the House floor regarding the resolution.

“At its heart, this rule is about one thing:  It’s about taking power away from local officials, including local BLM officials and moving that power to Washington, DC,” Rep. Stewart began.

The House passed a joint resolution on Tuesday, H.J. Res 44, which disapproves and nullifies BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule.
“The BLM’s final rule, known as Planning 2.0, is a snapshot of everything that was wrong with the previous administration,” said Stewart.  “Unfortunately, this rule is so flawed, that a couple of administrative fixes will not right the ship. It has to be rescinded. The final rule ignored thousands of comments submitted from states and county commissioners and moved decision-making out of the hands of local officials and into the hands of DC bureaucrats. These bureaucrats simply don’t know the land and needs of the counties like local officials do.”
“Having a seat at the table to inform and steer BLM planning is critical to counties,” said President of the Utah Association of Counties and Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney.  “The BLM had it right for 30 years by recognizing in their regulations the unique needs of counties. Planning 2.0 diluted our voice and our needs by opening BLM planning to out-of-state interests who simply do not understand our needs. I commend the House for doing the right thing today by rescinding this rule.”
From Congressman Stewart’s press release:
On December 12, 2016 the Obama Administration published another overreaching “midnight regulation” in the form of the BLM’s new Resource Management Rule, commonly referred to as BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule.
 
The same day the final rule was published, six Western states and a conservation district filed suit to block the new regulation stating that Planning 2.0 “will severely impair their ability to work with the BLM on future planning and management issues.” 

H.J. Res 44, a joint resolution utilizes the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to disapprove and nullify BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule.  The Congressional Review Act, a law enacted in 1996, requires a simple majority in both Houses as well as a signature by the president and uses expedited procedures that allow for nullification of an entire regulation through a joint resolution that cannot be filibustered. The CRA prevents the rule from continuing in effect and also prevents a substantially similar rule from being reissued. The parliamentarian has advised that all rules submitted during the 114th Congress on or after June 13, 2016, are eligible for review under the Congressional Review Act.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 established a process that requires the BLM to develop RMPs in cooperation with state, local and tribal governments. RMPs are typically updated every seven years and determine what actions can take place on BLM land. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, “247.3 million acres of public land and administers about 700 million acres of federal subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation.”

Planning 2.0 changes the BLM’s resource management planning process, and introduces significant uncertainty by creating ambiguous standards and expanding agency discretion. This new rule will complicate effective resource planning while reducing opportunities for meaningful state and local governmental input. Planning 2.0 directs the BLM to perform large “landscape scale” planning efforts that stretch across county and state lines. This new regulation allows radical special-interest groups from other states to have the same influence as county and local officials in the planning process. Planning 2.0 takes planning decisions away from local communities and centralizes those decisions with bureaucrats in Washington D.C. 

According to the American Action Forum, 4,432 new regulations have been finalized that cost a total of $1,000,000,000,000 and result in 754,208,800 hours of paperwork compliance since 2005. 120,849,512 hours of paperwork came from regulations that were finalized in 2016 alone. With regards to “midnight regulations,” those issued between Election Day and Inauguration Day, a potential cost of $6,000,000,000 worth of regulations was issued by the Obama Administration on eight rules. There were several other “midnight regulations” that have yet to be analyzed and are not included in that staggering cost estimate.
The BLM must not just be reined in, it must be abolished.  As David Risselada points out, the BLM’s allegiance is not to the Constitution, but rather is an agent of foreign principle and owes its allegiance to a London military banking cartel known as the Crown Corporation.

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