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The Tea Party And Our National Parks

Many people have analyzed and commented on last night’s Republican primary candidates’ debate, which was dominated by Tea Party thinking. Apart from the things that we expected, we were surprised by Texas Governor Rick Perry’s comments on what he’d like to do to Alaska. Here’s what he said while listing ways to raise government revenue without raising taxes:

“Third, we own — with all due respect, Governor [Mitt Romney] — we own 69 percent of Alaska. That’s one-and-a-half Texases. Now, let’s set half of Texas — let’s set a half Texas aside for national parks. We could liberate an area the size of Texas for minerals and other development. That would raise even more revenue, not the normal Washington viewpoint.”

Let’s do the math for Governor Perry. He wants to turn over 2/3 of the federally owned land in Alaska to the mining companies and other developments, e.g. logging. There’s not a lot more that you can do in the way of development in Alaska, other than build bridges to nowhere, like the Governor before Sarah Palin, or pipelines that nobody needs, like half-term Governor Palin. Anyway, he wants to handover 46% of Alaska,about 270,000 square miles, to the private companies so that they can strip-mine it and run unregulated oil drilling operations.

Governor Perry mentioned that he also agrees with Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, who wants to let the oil drillers loose in the Florida Everglades, where there are minuscule oil reserves owned by a single Republican-supporting company. Unlike Alaska, the fragile Everglades ecosystem is also the sole water source for seven million Floridians. Can anyone guarantee that we wouldn’t see a BP-like disaster that leaves them all without a pure water supply?

Some pictures for the Tea Partiers
We’ll make it really easy. Here’s what could happen to Alaska and the Everglades if the Tea Party candidates get their way.

Alaska and the Everglades – Before and After a Tea Party Government

If you’re a Tea Party supporter and you can convincingly and cogently argue that the above won’t happen, please post your comments below.

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2 comments to The Tea Party And Our National Parks

  • Todd S.

    I have mixed feelings about this article. It’s true that “[handing over]46% of Alaska,about 270,000 square miles, to the private companies so that they can strip-mine it and run unregulated oil drilling operations” sounds like a terrible idea. On the other hand, I’m not so sure how I feel about the government already owning 69% of the state; if our reliance is upon a mixed economy (part free-market, part regulated), this seems like an awfully big parcel of land to take out of private hands.

    Is it an error to open up, say, half of the Federally-controlled land in Alaska to private hands, for private uses which could include resource extraction by means that are subject to regulation aimed at protection of both the environment and human rights? I realize this is not at all what Mr. Perry is promoting, but it nevertheless seems like a reasonable proposal on its surface.

    I haven’t much to say about the Everglades proposal; based on how it’s described here, the whole idea sounds corrupt and cynical.

  • If the government didn’t own the National Parks in Alaska they’d already be history. Take a look at Google Earth to see what the mining companies have done in the continental United States. Also, remember that the Tea Party wants to abolish the EPA and any regulatory authority that gets in the way of the big corporations.

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