Biden Admin Continues Attack On Coal, Targeting Vast Swath Of S. Dakota For Ban On Mining

P. Gardner Goldsmith | March 19, 2023
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At a time when most American homeowners face terrible heating and electricity bills (in some cases, they have risen to TRIPLE the normal costs), the Biden Administration appears determined to echo and amplify Barack Obama’s 2008 threat that he and his anti-coal, anti-oil, anti-natural gas Climate Cult cabal would make sure energy from coal plants would be a dimmer and dimmer prospect.

In fact, Joe Biden, the man who once told coal miners they should “learn to program” computers, is seeing his Administration prohibit coal mining for years deep within tens of thousands of acres of land located in South Dakota.

At the heart of the matter are numerous erroneous assumptions and knee-jerk virtue-signals on which the ever-growing leviathan of D.C. relies to perpetuate and increase its power and influence over the states and the people therein.

These include, in no particular order, the idea that a “Bureau of Land Management” (BLM) is sanctioned by the U.S. Constitution and could operate morally or economically, even if it were, the belief that bureaucrats in D.C. know better than local folks how to handle land, the notion that the US government can control the vast stretches of land it claims, and, even if that were the case, the false belief that much of this land, which once belonged to American Indian tribes, should not be under the control of those original tribes.

Thomas Catenacci offers the alarming report, for Fox News:

“The Biden administration moved closer to implementing a 20-year ban on mining in a South Dakota forest area due to its proximity to cultural and natural resources.”

Of course, “cultural and natural resources” are terms that require individual, subjective definition and the subsequent testing and pricing in a free market. But far be it for anyone to acknowledge reality when pat, top-down, political terminology usually is accepted by the politicians at virtually every level to decide the fate of land, time, money, and the lives of people who are affected by these government edicts.

“In a joint announcement Friday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service said they would consider a 20-year withdrawal of 20,574 acres located in the Black Hills National Forest near the Pactola Reservoir and Rapid Creek Watershed. The proposed action prohibits new mining claims and the issuance of new federal mineral leases for two years while the agencies review the proposal.”

One can take his or her pick as to which is the most insulting.

The Black Hills once belonged to the Western Sioux Indians and also was sacred to the Crow, the Arapaho, the Cheyenne, and the Kiowa – until massive gold wealth was discovered there in the mid-19th Century and people like George Custer tried to take it through armed attack.

United States government breaches of treaties with native tribes also has been matched by political breaches of the U.S. Constitution in the area of what land the feds can “claim to control.”

Related: NJ Gov Murphy Pushes To Ban Natural Gas For Residential Heat, Appliances | MRCTV

According to the Constitution, the central government only is granted power to run three forms of land. The first is the 10-square-mile area of the national capitol, now sitting like a sore in the form of Washington, D.C. The second form of land is that which is supposed to be for “military garrisons.” And the third is the pre-state “territory,” which can be controlled by the feds until it is admitted to the union as a new state. Nowhere in the Constitution does the “rule book” ordain that states must cede land to the feds, and even if there were a provision mandating such activity, an additional Amendment would be needed for the feds to be able to operate that land.

So the idea of a “Bureau of Land Management” is difficult to justify, and the equally sketchy “Forest Service” merely serves the petty tyrants in D.C. as they continue to operate under a made-up version of the U.S. rules.

Few contemporary American politicians – especially on the state level, where they properly should nullify the presence of the feds in these areas -- either know or appear to care about that, and they dutifully march to the ceaseless beat of political maneuvering.

Thus, we see people arguing about Joe Biden recently “opening” a portion of Alaska’s “North Ridge federal land” to oil drilling by ConocoPhillips. The fact that the Biden move actually is a stunning decrease in the originally planned acreage, and the fact that the land – and debates about profitability, environmental impact, jobs, etc. – should be in the hands of Alaskans… those go unheard, just like the core constitutional and historical facts about this area of South Dakota when it comes to coal.

It certainly seems like the federal usurpation of local control and private property principles in this huge portion of the state is upsetting many South Dakotans. Catenacci notes:

"’Whether it’s northern Minnesota, southern Arizona, Alaska, or now South Dakota, these sorts of land restrictions from the anti-mining Biden Administration hamstring domestic development of minerals we need for national defense, energy technology, and everyday life,’ Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Subcommittee, told Fox News Digital.

‘We need to be using our resources we have here with our workforce, not taking them offline,’ he continued.”

But taking resources offline seems to be precisely the goal of Joe Biden and many Climate Cultists, regardless of the immorality and the lack of any constitutional sanction. Many of them not only embrace unsupported claims about mankind causing a climate apocalypse (which they keep pushing back in their calendar of predictions), they applaud authoritarian ideas like “carbon” taxes – those arbitrarily determined, imposed-on-people “sin taxes” that they will manipulate in order to generate behavioral and market changes which have nothing to do with our lives and betterment.

And some even want to ban the sales of new natural gas ovens or force people to stop using oil or natural gas for home heat.

The feds are offering their typical faux “we’ll let the serfs speak,” rhetoric, but we know the deal – we’ve seen this movie before.

Writes Catenacci:

“The two agencies will officially publish the proposal on March 21, opening a 90-day public comment period during which stakeholders will be able to weigh in on the action. Under federal law, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland is authorized to withdraw public lands from mining leasing for up to 20 years.” 

Ahh, yes. “Stakeholders.”

That term defined and controlled by the government.

And remember that bit about the 19th Century discovery of gold? Well, that lovely precious metal is part of the picture – a picture that teaches us a lesson about how impossible it is for government to run things and include all the interests of all the parties.

“The potential 20-year withdrawal comes amid a multi-year approval process for a gold exploration project in the area proposed by Minneapolis-based mining company F3 Gold. It also comes months after the Forest Service issued a draft decision allowing the company to explore across 3 acres and build some infrastructure under several restrictions after an extensive environmental review.”

What emerges from this is the same as it has been since Custer and the feds made their move. Private property is verboten. Private valuation is unseen.

Group-think, collectivism, and government deals, hidden behind flowery rhetoric are what remain – as your energy bills rise.

The same as it ever was.

Related: PA Gov. Wolf Backs Cities Who Force Residents Off Natural Gas | MRCTV