GLEN COVE, NY — Liberals act as if they hate Alaska. They do not really hate Alaska; it is simply that the state is far away, andliberals can implement their insane plans there and not have to see firsthand the evil they have wrought.
The Obama liberals have decided to treat one million additional acres of Alaska as wilderness, temporarily, until it can be determined decades from now whether the land actually is wilderness. Under the law, the President can temporarily designate an area as wilderness at the same time that he seeks an administrative determination that would permanently designate it as wilderness. Real live Alaskans live in that “wilderness.” Their schools and municipal governments are within it. As long as that “wilderness” is in a “temporary” status, they cannot add a garage or a doghouse to their houses or a playground to their schools.
This sweeping action means that half of the nation’s wilderness, national parks, and other federal lands will be in Alaska.
As part of Alaska’s admission as a state, a compact was made between the United States and Alaska; it identified the parts that are wilderness, the parts that would be studied to see if they are wilderness, and the rest of the state. About 90 percent of this new “wilderness” is in that “rest of the state.” The Obama action is a blatant violation of the terms of Alaska’s admission to the union.
As long as this land is treated as wilderness, Alaska’s state-of-the-art pipeline will operate at half capacity. Alaska wants to open up 2,000 acres in Anwar for oil exploration. This is a comparatively small parcel, and the proposed new use poses no threat to the environment or wildlife. This area is now treated as wilderness.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) described this action as a declaration of economic war against Alaska. The liberals said that she overreacted. She did not. She is a lifelong resident of Alaska, born in the Territory of Alaska and the daughter of an Alaska Senator. She rightly feels betrayed and sees the federal government as repudiating its agreements made when Alaska was admitted to the Union.
To find a precedent for this treatment of Alaska, we have to go back well over a century to the decisions by President Grant and the Radical Republican Congress that led to massive abuses and split the country for several generations. Louisiana and South Carolina were turned over to Northern-run regimes of corrupt men who stole amazing amounts. Confederate veterans were prevented from voting in Arkansas. The government of Mississippi was placed in the hands of sanctimonious New Englanders. Virginia was deprived of self-government. Northern troops invaded the Louisiana legislature and overruled its vote by military force. The Texas Ranger were disbanded. A New England general closed all of the Episcopalian churches in Alabama.
I am sure that liberals have persuaded themselves that they are preserving the wilderness. They cannot be bothered to find out if it is truly wilderness. Any Southerner can tell you that they are wrong: When the majority of a nation decides to destroy the economy of a minority, it invites disaster.
The Confederate Lawyer column is copyright © 2015 by Charles G. Mills and the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, www.fgfBooks.com. All rights reserved.
Charles G. Mills is the Judge Advocate or general counsel for the New York State American Legion. He has forty years of experience in many trial and appellate courts and has published several articles about the law.
See his biographical sketch and additional columns here.
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