Guest “making the bureaucrats quit” by David Middleton
Westward No! A Bitter Land-Office Business in Taming Federal Bureaucrats
By Vince Bielski, RealClearInvestigations
April 07, 2020
The Trump administration’s big strike against the federal bureaucracy is quietly unfolding at the Bureau of Land Management, where its senior managers and scientific staff have been told to pack up their desks in Washington, D.C., and move to its new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo. and other western offices. Most employees aren’t climbing aboard the wagon train.
The shake-up, meant to make the bureaucracy more accountable to the drillers, cattle ranchers, hunters and hikers who use America’s public lands, is part of the sweeping deregulation that has fueled a boom in U.S. energy production through last year.
“It’s more efficient now,” says Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, a trade group representing 300 oil and gas companies that pushed for the BLM move. “You can be productive without fighting for years to get a permit. They are processed more efficiently in less time.”
The gusher that has been feeding the coffers of states like Wyoming and New Mexico, however, is also raising concerns about the impact on some of the country’s spectacular landscapes and wildlife. Noting that only 80 of 174 employees have agreed to move west, environmental groups and some former BLM managers warn that relocating the agency’s headquarters reflects a broader shift of authority to political appointees, from career bureaucrats with years of expertise.
“The relocation will have a substantial impact on the management of our public lands,’’ says Ray Brady, a retired senior manager and minerals specialist who worked in the Washington headquarters for 23 years. “We view it as a dismantling of the organization and turning major decisions on public lands over to political people who have agendas.” The department and bureau didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who spearheaded the effort to move the agency to his state, isn’t concerned about the experts the bureau is losing. The Republican lawmaker said BLM is hiring to fill those spots and that it is more important to have career employees living in the West where they’ll learn about the local issues and take a more common-sense approach to regulation.
“If people don’t want to live and work in the West, on the land that they’re regulating, that’s probably a good decision” to leave the BLM, he says. “I find it offensive and elitist that somebody would refuse to live on the land they regulate.”
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Offshore oil & gas (and wind) operations are primarily regulated by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM, pronounced Bo’em) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE, pronounced Bessie).
BOEM, BSEE and their predecessor, the Minerals Management Service (MMS), maintain large regional offices in New Orleans, where most of the regulatory decisions are made. Most of the employees have strong ties to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region (they care about the health of important industries and environmental quality of the region) and many have oil & gas industry experience (they know what they’re doing).
It would be truly idiotic for Gulf of Mexico operations to be regulated from Washington DC. Just as it has been truly idiotic to regulate these lands from Washinhgton DC:
Day 23 of America Held Hostage by ChiCom-19
Great news for Dallas County (H/T Wayne Townsend)…
Dallas County Leaders Vote To Limit Jenkins’ Power, Discuss Temporary Hospital
By Katy Blakey • Published April 7, 2020
Dallas County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to limit some of the powers of the office of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
Jenkins has become the face of the local COVID-19 response, providing almost daily updates and using executive powers to make sweeping decisions for the county’s response.
Commissioners passed an amendment that requires Jenkins to now notify commissioners before he places any more restrictions on “essential businesses,” giving them time to call a meeting.
Jenkins must also get a majority vote from commissioners before he extends the current shelter-in-place order past April 30.
Commissioners also discussed the work needed to transition the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center into a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients.NBC5 DFW
Fire Marshal Gump, he county’s chief executive (a liberal Democrat) was basically at war with the Mayor of Dallas (a moderate Democrat), Governor of Texas (a conservative-ish Republican) and Trump administration. He was basically refusing to communicate with State and Federal officials, except through Twitter and Facebook and nearly lost the Federal temporary hospital at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, by refusing to confirm how the county would use it, aggravating Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson and the rest of the Dallas County Commissioners. This was the Mayor’s statement regarding Jenkins’ mishandling of the convention center hospital…
“I share the Governor’s concerns, and I was stunned and deeply disappointed to hear about Dallas County’s position on the pop-up hospital at the City’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
“This hospital is an important asset that we have worked proactively, collaboratively, and tirelessly with our federal and state partners to obtain for our region. I am alarmed that these medical resources are now at risk as we begin preparing for an anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases. I am committed to continuing to work with our partners to open this facility as quickly as we can to help serve our community’s needs.
“The City of Dallas has acted swiftly and aggressively to slow the spread of COVID-19. We cannot afford inaction now.”https://www.facebook.com/DallasMayor/
Dallas County’s ChiCom-19 case count has now topped the Dean Wormer line…
|% of population with||0.0502%||0.00076%|
|% wth, rounded||0.1%||0.00%|
|% without, rounded||99.9%||100.00%|
At this rate, we’ll reach the Mendoza Line on June 30, 2033.