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Thread: Utah gov. OKs eminent domain use on federal land

  1. #1

    Utah gov. OKs eminent domain use on federal land
    SALT LAKE CITY—Fed up with federal ownership of more than half the land in Utah, Republican Gov. Gary Herbert on Saturday authorized the use of eminent domain to take some of the U.S. government's most valuable parcels.

    Herbert signed a pair of bills into law that supporters hope will trigger a flood of similar legislation throughout the West, where lawmakers contend that federal ownership restricts economic development in an energy-rich part of the country.

    Governments use eminent domain to take private property for public use.

    The goal is to spark a U.S. Supreme Court battle that legislators' own attorneys acknowledge has little chance of success.

    But Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and other Republicans say the case is still worth fighting, since the state could reap millions of dollars for state schools each year if it wins.

    More than 60 percent of Utah is owned by the U.S. government, and policy makers here have long complained that federal ownership hinders their ability to generate tax revenue and adequately fund public schools.

    Utah spends less per student than any other state and has the nation's largest class sizes. Under the measure Herbert has approved, the state will set aside $3 million to defend the law.

    Lawmakers recently slashed education funding by $10 million and raised taxes on cigarettes by $1 a pack. Democrats have decried the eminent domain measure as a waste of money, and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Peter Corroon is making it an issue in this year's special election.

    But if the law is as bad as Democrats say it is, a court will quickly overturn it and the state won't have to spend much money defending it, Herbert said.

    Initially, the state would target three areas for the use of eminent domain, including the Kaiparowits plateau in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which is home to large coal reserves.

    Many people in Utah are still angry that then-President Bill Clinton's designated the area as a national monument in 1996, a move that stopped development on the land and greatly pleased environmentalists as he ran for re-election.

    Utah lawmakers contend the federal government should have long ago sold the land it owns in the state. Because it hasn't, the federal government has violated a contract made with Utah when statehood was granted, they say.

    Eminent domain would also be used on parcels of land where Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last year scrapped 77 oil and gas leases around national parks and wild areas.
    "In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

    "The protection against centralized government failed because of too many loopholes in the Constitution."

    Ron Paul from his book End the Fed

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  3. #2
    I never knew that 60% of Utah was owned by the fedgov. That's downright scary.

    I'm wondering if it's any excuse to raise the taxes on cigarettes, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    This is getting silly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    It started silly.
    T.S. Eliot's The Hollow Men

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." - Plato

    We Are Running Out of Time - Mini Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Philhelm
    I part ways with "libertarianism" when it transitions from ideology grounded in logic into self-defeating autism for the sake of ideological purity.

  4. #3
    This isn't going to work constitutionally.

    Reference the Property Clause.
    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe that they are free." -Göthe
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
    "Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure." - Robert LeFevre

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by foofighter20x View Post
    This isn't going to work constitutionally.

    Reference the Property Clause.
    Use the socialist tactics against the socialists.

  6. #5
    __________________________________________________ ________________
    "A politician will do almost anything to keep their job, even become a patriot" - Hearst

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Collins View Post
    Yes, this should scare the )*&% out of every one. Note also that if it is a biosphere parcel, it has been given to the UN, most of it falls into that catagory!!

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