BECAUSE OIL: GOP Utah AG Vows To Sue Obama For Designating Federal Lands As New National Monument

The Hill reports:

Utah’s attorney general says he is preparing a lawsuit against President Obama for his decision to designate a new national monument in the state. Attorney General Sean Reyes (R) on Wednesday said the lawsuit is one of numerous ways that he, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and the state’s congressional delegation will fight the Bears Ears National Monument. Reyes admitted that previous attempts to sue over national monuments have failed. The courts have upheld presidents’ power to protect federal land as monuments unilaterally.

All of Utah’s statewide leaders and congressional delegation oppose the Bears Ears monument, saying it unnecessarily restricts land uses like fossil fuel production. They want Congress to enact less restrictive protections for the land. Obama said in creating the 1.35 million-acre monument that it is necessary to protect sacred American Indian sites, among other assets. A poll released Thursday morning by news website UtahPolicy.com, but taken before the Wednesday announcement, found that 46 percent of Utahns do not want President-elect Donald Trump to undo the designation, and 40 percent want him to.

You may recall that Reyes filed a SCOTUS appeal of the ruling that legalizing same-sex marriage in Utah. On an unrelated note, last month he performed a Star Wars-themed “dance battle” against texting while driving.

  • Todd20036

    More time wasted in the courts. Hey, lawyers gotta eat, too.

  • The Return of Traxley

    Sure, douche. Go ahead and waste millions of your constituents’ money to lose another indefensible lawsuit. Beat Liberty Counsel’s record for most losses!!!

    • TrollopeReader

      that’s *really* hard to do !!

  • Pollos Hermanos

    I think Disney needs to sue him for using their copyright protected characters.

    Disney is very aggressive.

  • Butch

    Except that given the timing this suit will pass to the Trump administration. I doubt the defense will be exactly aggressive under Trump.

    • clay

      good thing the procedure is already settled law– this is not on the same level as other executive actions.

      • fuow

        I hope you’re right. I’m reading conflicting statements this morning.

  • Acronym Jim

    Somebody needs to drop his ass in a Dakota Access protest camp for a little bit of education.

  • bkmn

    Yet another Republican that can not learn from the past. I am shocked.

    • clay

      They want to live in it, not learn from it.

      • Bravo!!!!

      • HadenoughBS

        Perhaps the Federal government can commission the creation of a “way back time machine” these GOPers can jump into and time travel back to the retro age that best suits their ancient and simplistic beliefs (but without the ability to change the future once they go back in time),

  • T-Batwoman

    It’s all about the dollar, frack the future. I wish I were so callous, life would be much easier. Empathy and foresight kinda sucks……

    • grada3784

      I’ve tried being empathetic and got shit on.

      Not feeling very charitable at the moment.

  • Paula

    I think we have found Trump’s missing Hispanic cabinet member.
    Secretary of the Interior. Oil exploration and Demonumenting division.

    • Cuberly

      Does sort of look like an audition doesn’t it.

    • Rolf

      I read that as Demon-u-menting.

  • clouds 9

    A mexican repukkklican… huh

  • Lazycrockett
    • Ernest Endevor

      That’s all? That’s not much.

      • that was my thought….250k? that’ll be gone quickly.

        • PickyPecker

          sniff….sniff

          • olandp

            Why doesn’t he just od already.

          • Paula

            There’s still a couple days of 2016 left!

        • BobSF_94117

          That’s, what, 25 sexual encounters with one of his donors he can now skip???

    • Rick

      Why reward talent when you can reward assholism? /s

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      I’m sick of all these idiot companies trying to jump on the Neo Nazi bandwagon. It’s not like they can keep the involvement a secret and avoid a backlash.

    • Cuberly

      Well, I voiced my disapproval on their twitter account. Like it’ll mean anything.

      I thought all of his followers where gamers and angry young white dudes that can’t get dates. Would they voluntarily read a (gasp) book?

      • Chucktech

        A book written by a homosexual!!

        • Lars Littlefield

          The jury is still out as to whether he’s a homosexual or not. There’ s substantial evidence he’s a sponge.

    • Silver Badger

      I wonder who’s writing it for him?

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        See above. I know, I’m evil… 🙂

    • Acronym Jim

      Oh goody! Another book to recategorize as horror the next time I see one at the local Fred Meyer.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada
  • BearEyes

    But, but, religious freedom!

  • Lars Littlefield

    The governor and the entire Utah delegation is way butt hurt over this “egregious abuse of the presidential mandate” stealing millions of acres of land away from the people of Utah. The Bundy-types in that state feel all public land is theirs. Note that Obama also declared Gold Canyon where Cliven Bundy’s starving cattle are running loose to also be a national monument. But Utah gave up any claim to what are now our vast pubic lands in the West. They relinquished any claims so they could apply for statehood. Now those lands are administered and controlled by the federal government as they have been since the 1800s. But the Utah delegation has a mean need to sell off whatever they can to mineral and oil developers. They’ve even pulled the typical GOP tactic of lying by claiming that the native tribes involved (there are 18) do not want the Bears Ears wilderness designated as a national monument because of their religious beliefs. Total lie. The exact opposite is the true. The Native American tribes were the ones who drew up the original plan for the designation to protect their ancestral lands. But the GOP in Utah is still hell bent on a major disinformation campaign telling everyone the monument designation is a bad thing.

    I live in the general area of this new national monument. It is a remarkably beautiful part of the world, unique and like no place else. Thanks, Obama. Thank you from the deepest recesses of my soul for protecting this incomparable and irreplaceable stunning part of the world.

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      The Native Americans should protest in front of the capital calling out their lies. (Really, I’m not trying to give them more work to do but public dissing in front of cameras seems the only thing that even slightly cows these type of politicians)

      • Lars Littlefield

        They already have, many times. This monument designation is welcomed by the majority of citizens in the State of Utah and South Western Colorado. The national news has not bothered to cover what goes on under the cover of closed door legislative meetings in either state. To be fair, there are some individual Native Americans who were against the monument, but all of them — to the last one — had a personal financial interest it seeing it not happen.

        This wonderful act by Obama is sweet revenge against the negative forces that have tried to obfuscate the real issues. However, many of my neighbors are pissed to high heaven because they insist this is an act of an Obama dictatorship. Coincidentally, they are all Mormon. Every non Mormon neighbor is like me, thrilled and grateful.

        • Skeptical_Inquirer

          I wish I could send some of these oil/gas people over to certain cities in China where it’s smoggy as hell and tell them to breathe deeply.

          • djcoastermark

            As long as it’s not in their neck of the woods… who cares…../s

          • Skeptical_Inquirer

            I was thinking of making it a permanent move for them.

  • grada3784

    Maybe we’ll luck out and the Yellowstone Super-volcano will burp and wipe out lots of Trumpistan. Maybe right after the new GOP food stamp cuts go into effect.

  • Paula

    If they undo this, will other monuments and landmarks be far behind. Anytime a repub thinks he or she can make money, it could be challenged.
    What about Stonewall Inn’s designation.

    • The Return of Traxley

      There would be Stonewall Riot 2.0

      It would involve an even more vocal and agressive crowd of thousands, with the entire spectrum of the LGBT community and our straight allies turning out. They would not be moved.

      Republicans — especially homocons — would rue that day for the rest of their lives.

      • Lars Littlefield

        I hope you are correct because only brute force is understood by most of the low IQ GOP.

      • Dazzer

        There’d probably be demonstrations outside American embassies around the western world. Stonewall hasan international significance.

  • PeteLI

    Are Republicans EVER on the right side of history anymore?

    • DaddyRay

      Were they ever, it has been so long

    • Chucktech

      Eisenhower with the Interstate, Nixon in China, and that’s pretty much it.

      Maybe Poppy Bush kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, but, really, that’s it.

      • Acronym Jim

        Reagan on the opening of the Soviet Union…wait, that was Gorbachev. Reagan was trolling him to get him to backtrack with that “tear down this wall” demand.

  • Rex

    Some people won’t be happy until everything is destroyed.

    • boobert

      They won ‘t have long to wait!

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Indeed, … and they are called Trumpeteers.

      • Lars Littlefield

        They’ve always been known as the GOP.

        • They insist that they have a monopoly on patriotism, but they sure do want to destroy many of the nice things that the US has.

          • Louiserhaynes

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj141d:
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            !mj141d:
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    • TrollopeReader

      yes, like the Boy Scouts that hammer away at ancient rocks and stuff. Awful.

    • Galvestonian

      You mean most Republicans … as long as they can make money out of it.

  • The beauty of this new National Monument is breathtaking. While most of the photos are to large to share, spend a happy few minutes and google it and soak in the breathtaking beauty that is Bear Ears. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4222739087a906ebbed2721411488003131432ed4bdcd60b12acef681b8a29ec.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/57055c30ac267d5fafb26e58d3897e2dff49c2741e6082f802636ad56f4009b7.jpg

    • Nychta

      I can picture some developer sputtering, “But, but, there’s nothing there!”

      • Lars Littlefield

        The biggest mistake people make is calling desert “barren”. The ecosystems that occupy what we call deserts are some of the most varied and important places on the planet with more life per square inch than anyone can imagine. Something Arizona has done right (and it hasn’t done much lately) is to create the official description of “the living desert”. No desert if barren in Arizona. The landscapes are alive and teaming with life. Sadly, humans are not educated to see it.

        • Nychta

          Thanks for the info. I live in Arizona, and wasn’t aware of the “living desert” designation. I spend too much time working, and not enough time traveling this beautiful state. Now I want to see the Utah parks and national monuments, too.

          • Lars Littlefield

            If you haven’t taken the traditional drives in AZ to gaze in awe at the “Painted Deseret” (actually the whole state becomes a painted desert a sometime during the year) you need to. What most regard as the “official” painted desert is along the highways from the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff and east to the Four Corners area. But if you live in or near Phoenix you’re in luck. The back road from Gila Bend west to Pima County is mind boggling after a couple of rains in early to mid February. Also, one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy is on Interstate 10 about 20 miles east of Yuma in February. The wildflowers are unbelievable. But you have to time your visits usually in February and mark them one or two days after a rain storm. Same thing for the Sonoran Desert south to Tucson and beyond.

          • Nychta

            Yes, I’m in Phoenix, so will take advantage of those drives. Some of my business travels over the years have taken me through the desert, and I really enjoy it in the spring. Thanks for the recommendations.

        • djcoastermark

          Oh they see it. They just don’t care, ’cause there aint no mcdonnies and souvenir shops with tacky stuff made in china to see. To most, It’s just a boring wasteland.(excuse me now, I have to check my latest farcebook postings. /s)

  • Lars Littlefield

    It’s worth noting that Bill Clinton did a similar thing a few weeks before the end of his presidency. And he also did it in Utah. He created, by presidential mandate, the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument — which is in Utah. So named because it’s protection includes the Escalante Steps carved into steep canyon red rock by the Spanish explorer of the same name. Escalante’s men actually had to carve out steps in the living rock so their horses and mules could climb out of the canyons and continue north into what is now Colorado and Utah. Currently, Grand Staircase is still mostly undeveloped, but it’s a great place to experience the beauty and serenity of pure wilderness. No oil rigs or gas lines in sight as far as you can see. The same mineral and gas interests have been trying to exploit these lands, too. But they haven’t had any success since Clinton’s designation.

    If today’s version of what passes as an excuse for the GOP existed in 1872 there would be no Yellowstone National Park. Hell, there would probably be no tradition of protecting our most beautiful and amazing places as national parks.

    • djcoastermark

      Ya, but there would be glorious shopping centers everywhere, and billboards and flashy shiny things.

  • Max_1

    OMFG… The StormTrumpers are coming.

  • Palmer

    UTAH! Where corruption wears magic underwear!

  • Cuberly

    WTF! That’s a huge archaeologically important region. There are quite literally large swaths of the area with unexcavated Anasazi ruins and other evidence of indigenous cultures. This would be like fracking in the middle of the Parthenon pretending it isn’t there. This is history of north America fer kriss sake!

    Insanity.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14c8f11d3459c57ab56ab7df755d67e19bddd51913ee73c4538e4b34a845ffce.jpg

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      This little dino is a proud supporter of any monument to Bears.
      No fracking!!

      • Cuberly

        RWaaaarr! This cuberly agrees!

    • TrollopeReader

      i dunno about the history … is it in david barton’s “history” ??

      🙂

      • Cuberly

        Nope it’s not. Barton thinks jebus smote the indigenous tribes so the white jebus-i-fied could run the continent. In his name of course.

    • JCF

      What? No “Bears Ears” (“they make great grips!”) jokes?

      • Cuberly

        Ha!…well, now that you mention it.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    But every Morman has their own planet they can use to extract oil and precious minerals if they want. Why so greedy??

    • Chucktech

      And why not go there now?

      • djcoastermark

        Ramen brother Ramen!

  • Skeptical_Inquirer

    Gas and OIl are two energy sources that OTHER COUNTRIES will be cutting back on and pushing to the wayside. It may mean cheap oil for us but it also means producers here won’t get jack for pumping the crap since we’ll become the only real market.

    I truly believe that rooftop solar will increase as well since once you install it, you save gobs of money as long as you plan to live in the same house for a long time. I also think it would be a great selling point if you have to sell said house.

    Every other country will be working on renewables because that is the wave of the future. If we can just develop better batteries then the fact that sun is out for a certain % of the day will be less of a hassle.

    • Lars Littlefield

      Check out what the south western states are doing to people who put solar collectors on their roofs. Utah, Nevada, Arizona, California have all passed legislation taxing and/or collecting ridiculous fees for tapping into the free energy that comes from the sun. They stand to lose billions upon billions in tax revenue if they don’t because oil, coal, and gas will no longer be arouind to feed the state tax coffers. Not very forward thinking of our government. But that’s how they roll. Soon you will be taxed for the air you breathe.

    • Acronym Jim

      And not just solar panels; Elon Musk has developed solar shingles. He is predicting that purchase and installation could be cheaper than traditional roofing materials.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-17/musk-says-tesla-s-solar-shingles-will-cost-less-than-a-dumb-roof

      • canoebum

        Don’t forget community-based and cooperative solar projects, especially good for villages, hamlets and small settlements.

  • secretlab

    Nice to see Mr. Reyes spending some quality time with his Bishop and Stake members.

  • HomerTh

    As an archaeologist, I am delighted with the new Monument. The place contains huge numbers of pre- and post-contact Native American sites.

  • Ninja0980

    This is the asshole who tried to make nice with Utah same sex couples after he had fought tooth and nail to keep them second class citizens and was rebuffed.
    Nice to see he hasn’t changed.

  • Rolf

    Dance the Wookie? Those look like dancing stormtroopers to me, not wookies.
    Total nerd fail.

  • TrollopeReader

    i was hoping Obama was going to designate EweTaw a National Monument !!

    • Silver Badger

      Haven’t seen his posts lately. Anyone know if he’s ok?

  • Mark Neé Fuzz

    But but but God said we should rape the earth /s

  • fuow

    Sadly, we can expect Trump to undo all the good things President Obama did under Executive Order.
    All you gay men out there who didn’t vote? Go fuck yourselves, asswipes.
    Those who voted for Trump? I hope you’re the first to suffer for your assholiness.

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      Can we push the gay men who voted for Trump to the front of the line?

  • Dirty Harry

    Today is December 29, 2016 & Indians in the Dakotas are going nuts. Here’s a video posted about 3 ago.

    https://www.facebook.com/byron.buffalo/videos/10154906549239700/

    • Nychta

      Today is the anniversary of the Wounded Knee massacre.
      https://twitter.com/RuthHHopkins/status/814477383814287360

      • djcoastermark

        Another tradgedy in this US of A that so many have forgotten. (or just conveniently like to overlook )

      • Mike_in_the_Tundra

        Thank you. I was wondering what the context was. I would hardly think their behavior was “going nuts”.

      • djcoastermark

        I first became aware of the massacre by reading “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee” as a kid. My mother read it first and thought us kids needed to read it to understand more of our American History. yeah, my mom has always been what would now be called a radical liberal as she always encouraged us to LEARN about the past and how it affects us today, from native Americans, the Holocaust , to segregation. And for that, I am ever thankful that she taught me so well.

  • sword

    Western States politicians believe that they have the right to take anything from the land that their ancestors stole from Native Americans.

  • EqualityForAll

    Obviously, the dancing gene skipped a generation in that family tree.

  • EdA

    I think that it is eminently appropriate for a Republiscum politician to surround himself with stormtroopers of the Empire.

  • goofy_joe
    • JCF

      “It’s beeyuutiful! Just right to put a golf course in!”

  • canoebum

    I’m not so sure Der Herr wants any restrictions placed on the President’s authority to take these actions. It could interfere with his plan to designate Trump Tower as a National Monument.