Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Protecting the Environment


The Arctic is heating up twice as fast as rest of the globe.  Therefore, President Obama decided to taken action to prevent offshore drilling in areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans indefinitely.  He relied on a 63-year-old law, which will prevent future leasing of certain offshore areas for oil rights.  The 1953, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act allows presidents to withdraw lands from future leasing.  It's been used by past administrations to restrict oil exploration on the West and East coasts, however each time the ban on those leases was given an expiration date.  Obama’s executive order will move beyond those restrictions, by preventing future presidents from taking swift action to reopen oil exploration in restricted areas.

Obama declared 31 canyons off the Atlantic coast off-limits for drilling, citing “critical and irreplaceable” ecological value.  And, the entire America’s portion of the Chukchi sea and a majority of the Beaufort Sea, "indefinitely off limits for future oil and gas leasing," by citing critical protection for the marine mammals, ecological resources and native populations.

President Obama's initiatives will be more difficult to reverse since they will require using a law and not executive action.

Senior vice president of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Dan Naatz complained: “Instead of building on our nation's position as a global energy leader, today's unilateral mandate could put America back on a path of energy dependence for decades to come.  We disagree with this last-minute political rhetoric coming from the Obama administration and contest this decision by the outgoing administration as disingenuous.  With exactly one month left in office, President Obama chose to succumb to environmental extremists demands to keep our nation's affordable and abundant energy supplies away from those who need it the most by keeping them in the ground.”

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