Destroying the Land in Order to Save It
In the middle of the worst drought in decades, the climate denying House of Ayn Rand Representatives was so intent on hacking apart Food Stamps that it couldn’t even figure out how to pass a farm bill. (And the House Ag Committee version, it should be mentioned, was an abomination, maintaining egregious farm subsidies and rejecting the minor reforms in the Senate package.).
Now, the House Republican Conference has realized that maybe it isn’t such a good idea to go home for the August recess and tell your farming constituents that in response to the drought you haven’t done anything. So it has passed a drought-relief package that has no hope of becoming law because the Senate wants to do it as part of the farm bill. But hey — maybe you can fool enough constituents before the election!
It’s even worse than that, though: National Journal reports that the House has “paid” for the relief package (as if that is even a good idea in the midst of a flat economy) by cutting “conservation programs.” If that is the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which I wrote about the other day, this shows the complete intellectual bankruptcy of congressional Republicans: they are decimating programs to preserve land in order to pass a relief bill to preserve land. They are destroying the land in order to save it. We know how well that worked the last time.
Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic – Land Use, the Environment and Loc…READ more