|This is a National Monument??|
The President can name an area a national monument with the stroke of a pen and, as a result, prevent the exploration and extraction of resources from this newly protected area. Perhaps the best example of this tactic is the Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah which was named by Clinton in 1996, effectively eliminating over 1.9 million acres, some of which contain our nation's (and the world's) best clean coal reserves, from being mined.
Now a couple of interesting things pop up here. First, when you go into this area expecting to see some sort of monument, forget it. There is nothing there besides the natural outcroppings of plateaus and canyons. Secondly, and more interestingly, there are only two known areas of the world where this type of excellent quality coal exists. Here in Utah at the Grand-Staircase Escalante AND in Indonesia. What's the big deal about Indonesia, you ask? Well if you remember the mid-1990's and Bill Clinton's list of buddies, an interesting name pops up. Do you remember James Riady and his daddy Mochtar? Well guess who had a great deal of interest in the Indonesian coal business? With the Grand Staircase taken out of the picture as far as coal production goes, guess who has a monopoly on the production of this resource? When Rick Santorum mentioned in the debate recently that the U.S. is importing coal, of all things, it just reminded me about this little bit of Clintonian treachery.