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Letter to the editor:

House bill hurts environment

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 (2:01 a.m.)

As a military officer, I was trained to accomplish our mission while respecting rules of engagement, our government allies at all levels and the laws of the land. Unfortunately, a bill recently passed in the name of border security by the House of Representatives undermines our national environmental safety laws and regulations while doing little or nothing to strengthen the border.

House Resolution 1505 is dangerous. The proposed law would undermine a raft of environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act, as well as others that protect public health. HR1505 would give one agency, Homeland Security’s Border Patrol, carte blanche to do virtually anything without significant oversight by federal land managers on federal lands. That could be particularly troublesome here in Nevada, where more than 80 percent of our beautiful state is managed by the federal government.

The Border Patrol has told congressional researchers “land management laws have had no effect on Border Patrol’s overall measure of border security.” This bill places Border Patrol above the law and allows it to act without any local input, no matter the impact or reason. When the very agencies tasked with promoting national security are opposed to this bill, it is clear it does no service for them to better protect the nation’s borders.

I urge Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller to provide security to the nation while at the same time upholding the laws that protect our federal lands and waters. I urge them to oppose HR1505.

The author is a retired Air Force officer.

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Discussion: 14 comments so far…

  1. Letter writer is correct. It establishes a police state by DHS over most of the US. Fortunately, the bill passed the House Committee in Oct 2011 but still has not passed the full House, Senate, or the President. And most likely won't this year.


  2. "Within hours of the ruling to punish AZ the Department of Homeland Security and ICE had rescinded a program known as 287(g), which allows the feds to deputize local officials to make immigration-based arrests."


    That was no coincidence. It was petty politics by an administration that promised it would not participate in it and instead is the worst offender. It all comes down to the feud between Gov. Brewer and the president/DOJ. Very sad to see. BTW, I was pleased with the Supremes' decision and clearly it foreshadows the ruling on the Health Care Law due out tomorrow. Supremes will come down firmly on the side of the US Constitution, as it did with the Az Immigration Law, and strike down the individual mandate.


  3. HR1505 is a dangerous bill. It would basically give the Dept. of Homeland Security abusive power. Americans have progressive lost our freedoms and liberties over the years because of DHS, and this must end.

    We need to know WHO is behind PASSING HR1505 and vote them OUT. They are a collective danger to not only ourselves, but our country, the United States of America!!!

    Blessings and Peace,

  4. "Thank you Mary for your letter. I too will contact Senator(s) Harry Reid and Heller and ask them to oppose HR1505."

    kepi -- you should learn something about our republic first. They're senators. This is a House Resolution still in the House. Contact your Representative -- Heck, Berkley, whoever.

    "We need to know WHO is behind PASSING HR1505 and vote them OUT."

    star -- hardly a simple thing. HR1505 and sponsors are a matter of public record. I found it @ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c1...

    There's a lot of sponsors from all over the map, starting with Rep. Bishop (Utah), so you'd have to mobilize voters all across this country. Go get 'em.

    "If once [our people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you & I, & Congress & Assemblies, judges & governors shall all become wolves." -- Thomas Jefferson, from his letter to Edward Carrington, Paris, Jan. 16, 1787 (found in The Works of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 5 (Correspondence 1786-1787))

  5. "That was a good catch. But please check out the link if you are interested. I do not think I will post prior to 9:00 a.m. anymore!"

    kepi -- as you can see I posted the link directly to the HR. For your morning problem ...

    "After the coffee things ain't so bad." -- Henry Herbert Knibbs, cowboy poet, d. 1945

  6. I am in agreement with Carmine on this. It isn't the only piece of legislation that leads to a police state, often tacked on or as part of another piece of legislation.

    The fears of terrorism have allowed the DHS to gradually become one of the most dangerous parts of our government to our nation.

    It all depends on who is leading as to how it will be used, regardless of partisanship. Both parties could use it against the nation based on ideologies and abuse of power.

    It looks bleak for future generations because of the potential.

  7. Future - "Of course in AZ there no longer is any enforcement by Obama."

    Hopefully one day you'll stop the lies, although I doubt it.


  8. "The fears of terrorism have allowed the DHS to gradually become one of the most dangerous parts of our government to our nation."

    peacelily -- fear is a potent tool in how those in power control the masses. So much for "the land of the free and the home of the brave."

    "We must choose between freedom and fear -- we cannot have both. If the citizens of the United States persist in being afraid, the real rulers of this country will be fanatics fired with a zeal to save grown men from objectionable ideas by putting them under the care of official nursemaids." -- Scales v. U.S., 367 U.S. 203, 270 (1961), Justice Douglas dissenting

  9. What I think is the worst of efforts to fortify the power of the DHS is to set up the power to shut down free speech and dissent.

    Of course, that can be implemented by any politician of any ideology.

    That should not be allowed to happen.

    I may not agree with many people, but I want the right for people to express their views publicly. We have sufficient laws to deal with crowds who become violent, without the violence being initiated by the DHS or other entity that is the opposite of the powers that be of the time.

    Peaceful, non-violent demonstration and expression is a way to be heard. It is freedom of speech and assembly. It should not be suppressed.

    Suppression can include doing things to the environment to halt efforts to express our rights.