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Congressman Would Open More National Parks To Drilling


There are some units of the National Park System that allow oil and gas drilling, but very few. And that's wrong, believes a congressman from Texas.

Republican Rep. Pete Olson said there are energy reserves scattered across the country that can't be tapped because they lie within the National Park System.

"Guys on the West Coast ... west of the Mississippi, they know they've got oil and gas under the land that they can't touch because it's on a national park or some sort of federal land," he told Platts, a media outlet that covers the energy sector.

Energy development already exists at places such as Alibates Flint Quarries National MonumentAztec Ruins National MonumentBig Cypress National PreserveBig Thicket National PreserveBig South Fork National River and Recreation AreaCuyahoga Valley National ParkFort Union Trading Post National Historic SiteGauley River National Recreation AreaLake Meredith National Recreation AreaNew River Gorge National RiverObed Wild and Scenic RiverPadre Island National Seashore, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Rep. Olson, who made his comments while attending the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners annual convention, believes companies can safely develop oil and gas resources on National Park System landscapes.

"Working with the parks system, without destroying the parks' value, we can do both. We've proven that we can do that here in Texas," he said.


Well, you could watch the hearings tomorrow concerning Lois Learner (IRS) and the recent AG Holder testimony before Congress and parlay their attitudes to the model that reins with this bunch. Presidential usurping of Congressionally past laws that he feels he can do because he has Holder as gate keeper at DOJ. When all the facts are laid out I don't think we are far apart, Rick. There's been such a fog of deception as to motives and goals that it really has been a challenge to really see what is going on. I remain hopeful. Sure glad I have one of the great parks close buy to help counter all the crap going on:)!

"some extremist will try to act on their fantasies."

Lee, it's happening in real time. I would like to think it isn't but it's being played out in everything this bunch is doing. The Democratic Party really has had a schism or corrupted every descent Dem. that I can think of. I think if you really look at what's going on in the prism of impartiality and to the character of these individuals it'd be quite a wake up call. I am hopeful but not sure what that'll take.

I certainly agree with you. Since the early days of response to 9/11, with the "Patriot Act" and such similar Constitution-shredding legislation, I've felt my civil liberties under attack. Now, over the past seven years of a Congress pretending that only saying no is a helpful check/balance to the Executive Branch, sanity has left the room.

Perhaps we aren't so far apart, trail advocate; I just prefer more specifics to your more vague fears.

"But I hope there are enough of us in the middle of sanity who have faith that the genius of our democracy, our Constitution, and our system of checks and balances will continue to do what they are supposed to do."

I suggest that our Constitution and it's checks and balances are under attack. I hope also that there are enough of us in the middle of sanity who can see and understand the consequences of a deceptive, corrupt(yes) bunch. The Left particular shines in that category at the moment but Republicans aren't far behind if only because they aren't in power (except in the House). Pretty serious, I believe.

I agree, Mr. Mackie, and I apologize to all for my digression. I tend to just go into scorn when I encounter what you term the fear/hate crowd. It is truly difficult to discuss with those folks on a factual basis, because the aspersions they cast tend to be vague, and of emotion rather than fact.

Give me a fact based thing to deal with, even if it is nuts, rather than a vague and ominous cloud. "Obama murdered Vince Foster for Bill Clinton right after he arrived from Kenya" is easily dealt with, but "With a Kenyan socialist at the top then concerned citizens that pay attention to the Real Issues know that bad things are being planned just out of our sight" will just drive you bonkers.

Sara, thank you for the post, extremely informative. The fear/hate crowd is hard to understand, but Lee is right, the nation has faced this before. Needless to say I do not have answers, but I do think the unrestrained amounts of money being poured into the political arena is adding to the discombobulation and increasing corruption. Be it the Governor of Illinois trying to sell a Senate seat to the highest bidder or the Governor Of New Jersey who is up to selling anything he can get his hands on, seems to to be the coming norm. Much like the 1890s and 1920s, the reaction will occur. The US Attorney for the lower part of New York State (his office now has some jurisdiction over the growing Christi scandal), when asked to comment on the surge of political corruption investigations happening both in New York and New Jersey, stated it seems like everything is now for sale. The public senses this, it must lead to much anger and frustration.

Looks like Braithwaite(the really vocal guy) ran for Manti City Council last fall. Given his background, it makes me wonder if the others were not just following his direction.

Perhaps the extremes of both sides think so. But I hope there are enough of us in the middle of sanity who have faith that the genius of our democracy, our Constitution, and our system of checks and balances will continue to do what they are supposed to do. We've survived more than 200 years of challenges and are still going. And if one reads much history, it becomes obvious that what we are hearing today is not much different than what has been happening throughout all those years.

Wouldn't it be nice, though, if we would start to learn from our mistakes?

What's really frightening is the possibility that some day, some extremists will try to act upon their fantasies. It has happened before, it will happen again and any time someone with a loud megaphone or microphone is making money spreading fears and lies, let's hope there will always be sensible people to counteract them.

It was encouraging to see that the Manti mayor and council seem to be among the sane -- at least for the time being. On the other hand, there is LaVerkin. Sensible people must never let our vigilance waver.

In this case, the article tells of a threat to our parks. Maybe the next time, it will be something more serious. Right now, outside of Mesquite, Nevada, a rancher who for years has flaunted grazing laws on public lands is fighting with the BLM and NPS. His supporters are using some of the same inflammatory rhetoric we hear continually on hate radio. Ironically, the laws he has been violating have been in place for many years and the judge who granted the BLM's action order was appointed by a President who is a darling of the right wing.

Enough to make your head spin.

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