Obama Administration: Putting Species above People and the Constitution

A couple of weeks ago, I noted the Obama administration’s hypocrisy concerning protecting endangered species from harm (in this case the California condor) when it runs up against the President’s preferred energy sources – wind energy in this instance.

Barely a week later and two new stories arise showing that though the administration values wind turbines more than condors, it values condors and other species more than your average citizen and his or her property.

To put the value scale in perspective:

  • ·         Expensive, unreliable green energy > condors and other endangered species > average U.S. citizen.

CNN has publicized an ongoing dispute in Tombstone, AZ, where the U.S. Forest Service is refusing to let the city rebuild its water system; a system destroyed by wildfires and floods.  Despite a clear chain of title, previous court victories backing Tombstone’s claim and multiple rebuilding projects carried out with the Federal government’s past approval, the USFS will only allow Tombstone to rebuild the pipeline with shovels and picks and horses – no mechanized equipment, with even wheelbarrows being considered mechanized.  Absent the pipeline, the city’s residents are faced with moving out and on or drilling more wells in an area where arsenic in wells is not uncommon.  Faced with such choices, Tombstone has sued the Administration in a case that will likely end up before the United States Supreme Court.  One can only wonder how it has come to this.  This should highlight the need for legislators, states and communities to look at the potential long-term harms that could result if a new wilderness area is carved out of their lands or if new species are declared endangered.  This is a fascinating story and should be read in full.

In another case directly bearing upon the California condor’s standing, it seems that a large condo (one name for a group of condors) have taken up residence in a particular California valley.  When the condors initially moved in the residents were charmed and amazed, but those feeling changed rather quickly as the damages that condors can cause quickly became evident.  The huge birds have pecked off roof shingles, damage air conditioners, destroyed screens and the frames for doors and windows an have and left porches, patios and decks coated in foul smelling, potentially harmful droppings.  For many species, such harms could be solved by harassing them or calling pest or animal control.  Not for condors, they are protected and can’t even be harassed or shooed off.  Mind you, these problems are not an act of God, the federal government reintroduced these birds into the wild, but now claim they have no responsibility for the damage they cause.  This claim would not fly for any other government program supposedly carried out for the public benefit.  What happened to paying takings when private property is damaged or basically controlled by the government in furtherance of a public purpose.  As sad as this situation is, I’m glad it’s occurring in California – the citizens are reaping what they are trying to by pushing misanthropic environmental laws across the whole nation.

Comments (10)

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  1. JD says:

    “I’m glad it’s occurring in California – the citizens are reaping what they are trying to by pushing misanthropic environmental laws across the whole nation.”

    This sums up my feelings exactly. I’m glad he pointed it out.

    Actions have consequences.

    • Dewaine says:

      I agree, so often policies are presented as if in a vacuum. People rarely consider what will happen in the real world. Hopefully this will wake some people up and cause them to think through the more serious unexpected consequences of other regulation.

  2. JD says:

    “Expensive, unreliable green energy > condors and other endangered species > average U.S. citizen.”

    Isn’t this consistent with the administrations’ philosophy? If it is failing it should be defended, if it is successful it should be punished.

  3. August says:

    “the Wilderness Act prohibits “motorized” or “mechanized” equipment because it might damage the wilderness and disturb endangered species.”

    “If a fire broke out, the city wouldn’t have enough water to put it out.”

    I see the balance.

    • Lloyd says:

      How is a wheelbarrow a mechanized equipment? Sometimes, they just seem to go too far on their goals.

      • Andrew says:

        Yeah, this seems to have gone too far but it’s interesting to see how the city is fighting back.

  4. Andrew says:

    The Tombstone case is quite fascinating to follow. Haven’t heard of something of this nature for quite a while.

  5. Nigel says:

    I find that it is a bit presumptuous to argue or claim that all green energy is unreliable, and that the government values that over citizens…you could possible argue that it values endangered species or alternative green energies over U.S. citizens property, but not the person in and of himself.

  6. Kyle says:

    The ESA is one of the most worthless policies the epa has put into place, and their needs to be a hierarchy of importance in government. Government was created to protect humans natural rights. Animals in the state of nature have no rights. Let’s be real here.