The Laudable Pursuit: The First Step Towards Revoking Obama’s Land Grab

Senator Mike Lee
2017-04-28 15:04:01
April 28, 2017 "to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln Chairman's Note: The First Step Towards Revoking Obama's Land Grab What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power. President Obama began to learn that lesson this Wednesday when President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of all Antiquities Act designations larger than 100,000 acres over the past 30 years. Specifically, the executive order directs Secretary Zinke to consider "the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act's requirement that reservations of land not exceed 'the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected'" and whether "designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as 'historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest.'" This wording strongly suggests that President Obama's lame duck decision to designate 1.35 million acres in San Juan County as a national monument will at least be significantly reduced and possibly entirely rescinded. Some environmental activists may claim that President Trump does not have the power to shrink or revoke President Obama's Antiquities Act designations, but these claims are ignorant of both history and the law. For starters, as University of California Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo and Pacific Legal Foundation Executive Director John Gaziano detailed in a recent legal report, five presidents have significantly reduced four previous monument designations and no one has ever questioned the legality of those reductions. Specifically, President Eisenhower reduced the Great Sand Dunes National Monument by 25 percent, President Truman reduced the Santa Rosa Island National Monument by 49 percent, Presidents Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge collectively reduced the Mount Olympus monument by 49 percent, and President Taft reduced the Navajo National Monument by 89 percent. A current president's power to alter a previous president's flows from the text of the statute which authorizes the president "in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation… national monuments…. the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected." As Yoo and Gaziano point out, "there is no temporal limit" on the requirement that a monument must be limited to "the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected" so all presidents must use their ongoing discretion as to whether every monument is the proper size. "What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power." Furthermore, what if a later president determines that an earlier president's designation was so exceedingly beyond the "smallest area compatible with proper care " that the entire designation was illegal? Yoo and Gaziano argue that the entire monument designation could be revoked. Whatever Sec. Zinke does end up recommending to President Trump, and a preliminary report is due in 45 days on Utah's Bears Ears National Monument, further executive action will only be the beginning of solving San Juan County's public lands issues. Congress will then need to pick up the Public Lands Initiative legislation that was working through the House before President Obama derailed the legislative process and pass a common sense solution that includes real input from local residents. Only through the legislation can local residents, including the Navajo, be given real power over their land use decisions. The Next Step for Healthcare Reform Click here to watch video Issue in Focus: Making the Internet Innovative Again Americans love their mobile devices. They want to be able to watch, listen, and play any video whenever they want, wherever they want, and for as long as they want. And they don't want to pay a fortune for the privilege to do so. For most of the history of the Internet, companies have been free to find innovative new ways to meet America's insatiable demand for data. But progressive activists have never been comfortable with the unregulated nature of the Internet. They have always wanted government bureaucrats to have more control over how the Internet is managed. After President Obama installed like-minded progressives on the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC realized those progressive dreams when they introduced the agency's first "net neutrality" regulations, called the Open Internet Order of 2010. Those regulations were immediately challenged in court, and the FCC lost that court battle in 2014. But in 2015 they issued a new "Open Internet Order" which had an immediate impact on the market. That same year, T-Mobile introduced a "Binge On" plan which offered customers unlimited data on some video options including Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. While then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the "Binge On" plan "innovative," progressive activists thought the plan was a clear violation of the brand new net neutrality regulations and lobbied the FCC to kill the plan. But before the FCC could act, T-Mobile ended Binge On and created a new plan called Uncarrier which allows customers to download all the data they want, but charges an extra $25 to upgrade the quality of video from 480p to HD quality. Progressive activists went crazy again calling this new plan another violation of the FCC's new net neutrality regulations. Fortunately T-Mobile no longer has to worry about progressive activists dictating how they engineer their wireless system. This Wednesday new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he would be repealing the 2015 Open Internet Order. "Going forward, we cannot stick with regulations from the Great Depression meant to micromanage Ma Bell," Pai said. "Instead, we need rules that focus on growth and infrastructure investment, rules that expand high-speed Internet access everywhere and give Americans more online choice, faster speeds, and more innovation. " While Pai's move is a welcome reprieve from innovation-killing government regulation, a future Democratic president could easily reintroduce President Obama's net neutrality rules. That is why I will introduce the Restoring Internet Freedom Act next week, a bill that would nullify the Federal Communications Commission's 2015 Open Internet Order and prohibit the FCC from issuing a similar rule in the future. Congress should be the one setting telecommunications policy, not federal bureaucrats and I look forward to engaging in this debate in the months ahead. Washington, D.C. Office 361A Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C., 20510 Phone: 202.224.5444 Fax: 202.228.1168 Salt Lake City Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building 125 South State, Suite 4225 Salt Lake City, UT 84138 Phone: 801.524.5933 Fax: 801.524.5730 St. George Office of Senator Michael S. Lee 285 West Tabernacle, Suite 200 St. George, UT 84770 Phone: 435.628.5514 This message was intended for: xxx You were added to the system October 2, 2015. For more information please follow the URL below: newsletter.senate.gov/p/iW_w8QE2eN Follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out: newsletter.senate.gov/p/oW_w8QE2eN To unsubscribe from future mailings, send an email to mailto:xxx?Subject=Unsubscribe&body=Please%20remove%20me%20from%20further%20mailings with "Unsubscribe" as the subject line.
April 28, 2017

"to elevate the condition of men--to lift artificial weights from all shoulders, to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all, to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance, in the race of life." --Abraham Lincoln

Chairman's Note: The First Step Towards Revoking Obama’s Land Grab

What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power.
 
President Obama began to learn that lesson this Wednesday when President Trump signed an executive order directing Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of all Antiquities Act designations larger than 100,000 acres over the past 30 years.
 
Specifically, the executive order directs Secretary Zinke to consider “the requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act's requirement that reservations of land not exceed ‘the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected’” and whether “designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as ‘historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest.’"
 
This wording strongly suggests that President Obama’s lame duck decision to designate 1.35 million acres in San Juan County as a national monument will at least be significantly reduced and possibly entirely rescinded.
 
Some environmental activists may claim that President Trump does not have the power to shrink or revoke President Obama’s Antiquities Act designations, but these claims are ignorant of both history and the law.
 
For starters, as University of California Berkeley Law School professor John Yoo and Pacific Legal Foundation Executive Director John Gaziano detailed in a recent legal report, five presidents have significantly reduced four previous monument designations and no one has ever questioned the legality of those reductions.
 
Specifically, President Eisenhower reduced the Great Sand Dunes National Monument by 25 percent, President Truman reduced the Santa Rosa Island National Monument by 49 percent, Presidents Taft, Wilson, and Coolidge collectively reduced the Mount Olympus monument by 49 percent, and President Taft reduced the Navajo National Monument by 89 percent.
 
A current president’s power to alter a previous president’s flows from the text of the statute which authorizes the president “in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation… national monuments…. the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
 
As Yoo and Gaziano point out, “there is no temporal limit” on the requirement that a monument must be limited to “the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected” so all presidents must use their ongoing discretion as to whether every monument is the proper size.

"What is done by executive power can be undone by executive power."

Furthermore, what if a later president determines that an earlier president’s designation was so exceedingly beyond the “smallest area compatible with proper care ” that the entire designation was illegal?  Yoo and Gaziano argue that the entire monument designation could be revoked.
 
Whatever Sec. Zinke does end up recommending to President Trump, and a preliminary report is due in 45 days on Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument, further executive action will only be the beginning of solving San Juan County’s public lands issues.
 
Congress will then need to pick up the Public Lands Initiative legislation that was working through the House before President Obama derailed the legislative process and pass a common sense solution that includes real input from local residents. Only through the legislation can local residents, including the Navajo, be given real power over their land use decisions.

The"Next Step for Healthcare Reform

Click"here to watch video

Issue in Focus: Making the Internet Innovative Again

Americans love their mobile devices. They want to be able to watch, listen, and play any video whenever they want, wherever they want, and for as long as they want. And they don’t want to pay a fortune for the privilege to do so.
 
For most of the history of the Internet, companies have been free to find innovative new ways to meet America’s insatiable demand for data. But progressive activists have never been comfortable with the unregulated nature of the Internet. They have always wanted government bureaucrats to have more control over how the Internet is managed.
 
After President Obama installed like-minded progressives on the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC realized those progressive dreams when they introduced the agency's first “net neutrality” regulations, called the Open Internet Order of 2010.
 
Those regulations were immediately challenged in court, and the FCC lost that court battle in 2014. But in 2015 they issued a new “Open Internet Order” which had an immediate impact on the market.
 
That same year, T-Mobile introduced a “Binge On” plan which offered customers unlimited data on some video options including Netflix, HBO, and Hulu. While then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called the “Binge On” plan “innovative,” progressive activists thought the plan was a clear violation of the brand new net neutrality regulations and lobbied the FCC to kill the plan.
 
But before the FCC could act, T-Mobile ended Binge On and created a new plan called Uncarrier which allows customers to download all the data they want, but charges an extra $25 to upgrade the quality of video from 480p to HD quality.
 
Progressive activists went crazy again calling this new plan another violation of the FCC’s new net neutrality regulations.
 
Fortunately T-Mobile no longer has to worry about progressive activists dictating how they engineer their wireless system. This Wednesday new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he would be repealing the 2015 Open Internet Order.
 
“Going forward, we cannot stick with regulations from the Great Depression meant to micromanage Ma Bell,” Pai said. “Instead, we need rules that focus on growth and infrastructure investment, rules that expand high-speed Internet access everywhere and give Americans more online choice, faster speeds, and more innovation. “
 
While Pai’s move is a welcome reprieve from innovation-killing government regulation, a future Democratic president could easily reintroduce President Obama’s net neutrality rules.
 
That is why I will introduce the Restoring Internet Freedom Act next week, a bill that would nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet Order and prohibit the FCC from issuing a similar rule in the future.
 
Congress should be the one setting telecommunications policy, not federal bureaucrats and I look forward to engaging in this debate in the months ahead.

Washington, D.C. Office
361A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: 202.224.5444
Fax: 202.228.1168
Salt Lake City
Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building
125 South State, Suite 4225
Salt Lake City, UT 84138
Phone: 801.524.5933
Fax: 801.524.5730
St. George
Office of Senator Michael S. Lee
285 West Tabernacle, Suite 200
St. George, UT 84770
Phone: 435.628.5514



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