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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

GOP Disappointed that New National Monuments Won't Be Properly Exploited

GOP Disappointed that New National Monuments Won't Be Properly Exploited

Author: Reilly Capps/Thursday, February 19, 2015/Categories: environment, humor

[A bridge near Browns Canyon in Colorado, a newly named national monument that will now, unfortunately, never be mined. Photo by Jeffrey Beall, via Wikimedia Commons]

Today, President Obama announced three new national monuments.

The monuments are the Honouliuli Internment Camp in Hawaii, the Pullman neighborhood in Chicago, and Brown's Canyon in Colorado.

As you can imagine, conservative Republicans, the party of Teddy Roosevelt (Yosemite) and Richard Nixon (the EPA) leapt at the chance to praise Obama's conservationist move. 

Or ... actually ... no.

For designating the monuments, Republican are calling him "King Obama." Yes, that makes sense in this context. The act does recall the terrible reigns of Louis XIV and Charles V, who repeatedly and tyrannically set aside land for the free public use of all the people. Or remember when King Leopold of Belgium decided that the entire Congo wouldn't be minded and logged but would become a public park for those who lived near there?

Republicans are disappointed these places will never reach their full potential to become scrub lands stripped of their natural resources. After all, when Americans came to this land, it was with a dream of one day having the freedom to exploit it completely for its natural resources.

It's like that song, "Oh beautiful, for spacious skies, for streaky tailings piles, for deep pit mines and clear-cut trees, above the fruited plains! America! America! God shed his abundant natural resources on a few select companies! So let us extract it, dude, from wood to crude, from sea to shining sea!"

If this continues, the GOP warned, our grandchildren won't ever experience the same level of unsustainable resource extraction as we do. 

Republican front runners for 2016 are jumping into the fray. If elected, Jeb Bush promised to "dig big holes everywhere for no particular reason." Scott Walker refused to answer a question about whether trees exist. And Chris Christie said he would make all public lands available for mining and farming -- but only to residents of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. 

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