Drawing The Line

By Beacon Staff

Environmentalists are flogging Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg’s co-sponsorship of Utah fellow-Republican Rob Bishop’s National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, HR 1505.

Bishop’s bill, which passed out of committee 26-17 on Oct. 5, is aimed at enabling Homeland Security to reach “operational control” defined in section 2(b) of the Secure Fence Act of 2006: “the prevention of all unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, narcotics, and other contraband.”

It would exempt Border Patrol infrastructure projects from 47 federal environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Wilderness Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Park Service Organic Act, Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Antiquities Act.

Seemingly the entire Left, joined by a smattering of the conspiracist Right, had a fit, including claims that DHS would get “police state powers.”

The environmentalist Pew Trust jumped right on things, producing a deceptive map hyping “public lands at risk,” including Glacier Park and “10 whole states.” Right – d’ya think there’ll be an East German Wall in Glacier protecting Polebridge from hordes of iron-lunged Canuckistanian mountain terrorists?

On the Southwest border, however, there’s a problem, which Greens insist on making worse. For example, in California, the state Coastal Commission ruled in 2004 that building a border wall in the “Tijuana River Estuarine Research Reserve” (between San Diego and Tijuana) violated federal coastal-zone law, halting construction in its tracks. Congress got around that by jamming a “notwithstanding any other provision of law” rider in 2005’s war-funding bill.

Along the Rio Grande in Texas, Greens brought another lawsuit, claiming floodlights might confuse nocturnal ocelots and jaguarundis that it was daytime. Project stopped. Et cetera.

Such lawsuits underscore the delusional priorities of the “environmental movement,” who believe the off-chance that kitty-cats might lose sleep outweighs slowing and stopping the annual criminal transit of thousands of tons of dope, millions of illegal immigrants, plus gosh knows how many guns and terrorists, across the Mexican border.

Greens hypocritically argue Border Patrol infrastructure would “cut through sensitive ecosystems” – yet ignore the amazing amount of trash, untreated human waste and even dead bodies left by drug mule trains and coyote smugglers. They’re non-motorized? OK!

Greens further allege the bill threatens private property rights…but it’s safe to say that most if not all Southwest border-region landowners would be tickled pink to have the Border Patrol as neighbors or tenants.

Finally, Greens claim this is all simply “anti-Mexican politics.” Sorry, but there’s a real possibility that Mexico (or parts) is a failing state – becoming not a Second- or even Third-, but a chaotic Fourth World hell. Next door.

Granted, this disaster is the fault of those Americans who blow billions on coke, horse, pot, meth and other garbage, funding a criminal shadow economy that threatens Mexico’s already unjust, dysfunctional and corrupt “civil society” with ultimate collapse.

But with the possible exception of dopers seeking cheap highs and La Raza zealots, normal Americans are justifiably worried about our uncontrolled border and spillover effects across our nation.

What scares Greens? They’ll never confess, but Greens fear that HR-1505 made law could reduce their political power both in the short and long term.

Just imagine if these exemptions enable the Border Patrol to actually get a handle on illegal activity without turning our borders into a Maginot Line. American public opinion just might find that trading environmental laws for the obvious social good of a secure border is a good deal. If so, what about when these laws are abused to obstruct other social goods?

At the very least, HR 1505 is what Greens fear most, action from Congress: Granting exemptions, or heaven forfend, reforming and rewriting our environmental laws into a more balanced, reasonable form.

To begin, HR 1505 had problems. Homeland Security is far from infallible – and absolute power corrupts absolutely. But the bill now contains a critical five-year sunset clause. Our Border Patrol needs a chance to do their job. The sunset would ensure they do their job – and no more.

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