NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 20, 2013

How our government ruins commerce

As I See It
Richard Astukewicz

---- — The Rim Fire that charred a quarter million acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park contains an estimated one billion board feet of salvageable dead trees enough to build 63,000 homes.

Once, the logging of this timber was a way for lumber companies to almost automatically provide work for its employees, it now faces hurdles created by environmental groups the government rules and the anti-logging John Muir Project.

This problem is that logging companies have a two year time limit to get at these logs before insect damage and the timbers become useless.

Representative Tom McClintock introduced legislation to waive regulations so salvage logging could begin but this is being held up by government and anti-fogging groups.

It’s what happens when you have a government with too many rules and regulations that halt and hinder “free enterprise” the heart and soul of capitalism, by a government too large, to progressive, to socialist to become efficient.

We have in our nation the Native Indian population who are the poorest citizens of our country. Here is how they are treated by the progressives who claim to work for the poor.

Out in the Midwest on Indian reservations sit deposits of oil, natural gas and coal plus uranium with an estimated value of $1.5 trillion that could be used to eliminate much of the Indian poverty.

On the Crow Reservation in Montana sits one of the largest coal reserves in the nation, 9 billion tons of clean coal that could be used in the U.S. plants or exported.

EPA rules and regulations hinder the progress that Indian tribes need to get their people a better standard of living like the rest of the nation’s citizens.

In the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has stopped development on Indian reservation lands. Outside the reservation, located within Bakken Shale oil boom area, companies have only “4 steps” to get a license to drill; it takes “40 steps” at four federal agencies to drill on tribal lands.

This is another example of your progressive big government in action, the government sworn to create jobs, help the poor and raise the middle class. We don’t hear about these issues or read about them because the average Jane and Dick America are too busy working to put bread on the table, but these events are constantly taking place in our nation because “capitalism” has become an evil word.

Once again big government hinders the development of economic progress that should be a free enterprise course of action of our individual rights.

Would you like to drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands that hold untold quantities of these resources, which could really put our nation out front as a world leader in energy supplies?

Well if you have the capital, you can, but you will have to deal with the rules and regulations of first, The Bureau of Land Management, then you face EPA rules, then you have to deal with the Fish and Wildlife Services, then you go on to the Forestry Services, the National Park Services and finally you come to the National Environmental Policy Act, finally you might be able to drill and recoup your investment.

In the case of the XL pipeline from Canada they had to deal with the State Department which incidentally approved of the building of this pipeline.

Unless we unleash the wheels, the tools and the benefits of capitalism we will never eliminate poverty, we will continue to lose the middle class and we will eventually face a fiscal disaster as we become a 3rd world nation.

We cannot allow President Obama to win this battle of ideology that is spend, borrow, tax and redistribute the wealth of the nation. It’s a road to disaster that our children and grandchildren will face.

Is this the legacy we want to leave them?

Richard Astukewicz is a Salisbury resident.