Obama Shuts Down 500,000 Acres

President Obama signed an executive order last week to place 500,000 acres under the “permanent protection” of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument (OMDP) in south central New Mexico.  Despite Obama’s claim that “there is no time to waste to preserve our precious resources,” there was no urgency and little justification for the creation of this federal park. In this case, unlike others, Obama’s executive order was not unconstitutional; the Antiquities Act of 1906 gives the president authority to bypass Congress and designate a national monument.  Although lawful, the order supplanted a bill under consideration in Congress, introduced by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico less than six months ago.  Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) sponsored a similar bill in 2010.  According to Govtrack.us, Udall’s bill, the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Conservation Act, had a 2% chance of being enacted, meaning that Obama’s...(Read Full Article)