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GOP right-wingers once again propose selling public lands

Sen. Mark Udall says proposal is ‘imprudent and detrimental’

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Could selling off public lands in the West help solve the budget crisis?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The election may be over, but that doesn’t mean the political silly season has ended, as shown by a recent letter from arch-conservative and anti-environmental House GOP right-wingers Rob Bishop (Utah) and Stephen Pearce (Arizona).

On Nov. 26 the two congressmen tried to once again revive interest in the idea of selling public lands in the West to private interests as a way of helping address the federal budget crisis — never mind that most local and state governments don’t have enough money to manage the land they already control.

The idea, of course, is to allow unbridled development on those lands, including real estate speculation and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, including oil drilling in Alaska and oil shale development in Colorado. Continue reading

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