Last week, I reported on a bill before the House of Representatives that would effectively censor the American people’s speech regarding how the unconstitutional Bureau of Land Management makes land management decisions. I’m happy to report that this week, the House passed a resolution that will roll back the BLM’s Panning 2.0 rule, but there’s more work to be done.
Representative Christ Stewart (R-UT) spoke on the House floor regarding the resolution.
“At its heart, this rule is about one thing: It’s about taking power away from local officials, including local BLM officials and moving that power to Washington, DC,” Rep. Stewart began.
On December 12, 2016 the Obama Administration published another overreaching “midnight regulation” in the form of the BLM’s new Resource Management Rule, commonly referred to as BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule.The same day the final rule was published, six Western states and a conservation district filed suit to block the new regulation stating that Planning 2.0 “will severely impair their ability to work with the BLM on future planning and management issues.”
H.J. Res 44, a joint resolution utilizes the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to disapprove and nullify BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule. The Congressional Review Act, a law enacted in 1996, requires a simple majority in both Houses as well as a signature by the president and uses expedited procedures that allow for nullification of an entire regulation through a joint resolution that cannot be filibustered. The CRA prevents the rule from continuing in effect and also prevents a substantially similar rule from being reissued. The parliamentarian has advised that all rules submitted during the 114th Congress on or after June 13, 2016, are eligible for review under the Congressional Review Act.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 established a process that requires the BLM to develop RMPs in cooperation with state, local and tribal governments. RMPs are typically updated every seven years and determine what actions can take place on BLM land. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, “247.3 million acres of public land and administers about 700 million acres of federal subsurface mineral estate throughout the nation.”
Planning 2.0 changes the BLM’s resource management planning process, and introduces significant uncertainty by creating ambiguous standards and expanding agency discretion. This new rule will complicate effective resource planning while reducing opportunities for meaningful state and local governmental input. Planning 2.0 directs the BLM to perform large “landscape scale” planning efforts that stretch across county and state lines. This new regulation allows radical special-interest groups from other states to have the same influence as county and local officials in the planning process. Planning 2.0 takes planning decisions away from local communities and centralizes those decisions with bureaucrats in Washington D.C.
According to the American Action Forum, 4,432 new regulations have been finalized that cost a total of $1,000,000,000,000 and result in 754,208,800 hours of paperwork compliance since 2005. 120,849,512 hours of paperwork came from regulations that were finalized in 2016 alone. With regards to “midnight regulations,” those issued between Election Day and Inauguration Day, a potential cost of $6,000,000,000 worth of regulations was issued by the Obama Administration on eight rules. There were several other “midnight regulations” that have yet to be analyzed and are not included in that staggering cost estimate.