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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Friday, July 23, 2021

Biden Stealing Land to Satisfy Climate Agenda

| Jul 20, 2021 |  

To erect tens of thousands of wind turbines and thousands of square miles of solar panels to fulfill his climate agenda, President Joe Biden is planning to steal vast amounts of America’s land. Otherwise, most states and property owners simply won’t give it to him.

If this sounds far-fetched, realize that the theft of land by the federal government has been going on for the past century and a half. Given that it is forbidden by the Constitution of the United States, and no amendments have made it legal, it has indeed been a form of grand larceny-theft, something the states must sue to stop.

Before examining Biden’s plans, let’s look at the history of the feds illegally expropriating land, an action that surely amounts to the greatest heist in American history.

Article 1, Section 8, clause 17 of the United States Constitution limits federal property to territories such as the District of Columbia and “Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, Dock-Yards and other needful Buildings.” To acquire land from the states for these four purposes (only), the Federal government must first obtain the consent of the relevant state governments. 

This is why only an average of about 4% of the land in the states east of the Mississippi is owned by the federal government. When new states joined the union, they were afforded the same rights as the original 13 colonies, and so, by law, the feds could only take over state land with agreement of the state governments and only for the four purposes laid out above. When a new state was created, all the land within that state comes under state jurisdiction. Period. No “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts.” That is the law as laid out in the Constitution. 

America’s Founders took the Biblical injunction literally that land and the products of the Earth were considered a gift of God to man and that man was commanded to cultivate, beautify, and subdue it and bring it under his dominion. They believed that no government official has the authority to interfere with this God-given, unalienable right and mandate. The Founders believed that the land belonged to the people, not the king, and this was the impetus for including the grievance in the Declaration of Independence that King George “has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.” The King also tried to stop colonists from possessing the new lands west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Founders totally rejected centralized control of land and determined to institute control at a local level which would be administered close to the people for their benefit. They did this to ensure that the tendency of power-hungry national governments to deprive the people of their God-given land would be forever banned in the new nation.

In the first half of the 19th century, most new states owned the majority of their land but quickly sold it off to private property owners. But things started to change when, in 1872, the first National Park, Yellowstone, in the Territories of Montana and Wyoming, was created by an act of Congress. They did not amend the Constitution. They simply violated it. 

Things got worse in the 20th century when environmental groups persuaded the federal government to retain land for its natural resources and scenic beauty. In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt pushed through the American Antiquities Act, which designated 18 national monuments for the Federal government, again, in violation of the Constitution. Only President Obama has used the Antiquities Act to designate more–26 times. In 1976, under President Carter, the Land Policy and Management Act declared another 100 national monuments adding millions of acres to the Federal land portfolio, mostly in the Western states. While much of this land has made outdoor vacations more possible for the average American citizen, as much or more has made access for the public impossible and forest management a disaster. 

So, it is no surprise to most Americans that the federal government now owns vast areas of the western states. They own 85% of Nevada, 65% of Utah, 62% of Idaho, 61% of Alaska, 53% of Oregon, and 48% of Wyoming. And, it is largely all illegal. The Framers of our Constitution would have regarded Roosevelt, Carter, and later Obama, who designated more national monuments than any other President, as performing federal overreach.


And now, under President Biden, things are about to get a lot worse.

On January 27, just a few days after Biden’s inauguration, he signed Executive Order (EO) 14008, which calls for 30 percent of all the land and 30 percent of all the water in the United States to be placed under the control of the Federal government by 2030. The title of this draconian order is “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad,” and this has the support of all the environmental groups who clearly don’t care about the environment at all but only about reducing our freedoms by increasing the power of the federal government over our lives. Biden’s EO is being called “30 x 30” for short, especially by all those who oppose it. America’s two million farmers lead that resistance.

Nobody is more motivated to take better care of our nation’s land than the folks who work on the land day in and day out to feed the world. But President Biden seems to disagree, which is another example of the left’s disconnect with reality. Kansas native President Dwight D. Eisenhower hit the nail on the head while in office when he said, in regard to farm legislation, 

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you are a thousand miles from a cornfield.”

Writing in the June 7, 2021 edition of High Plains Journal, Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forest, explained the impact of Biden’s EO:

“Imagine, if you will, taking 30% of agricultural land out of production. This means losing 30% of all agricultural-related employment, leaving 75,000 Kansans without jobs. As far as the Kansas economy goes, this means losing 30% of all direct, indirect, and induced agricultural production—that’s more than $21 billion in output for our state. 

“These dollars and jobs won’t just be lost on rural main streets—this impact would be felt by the farmer on a turn row as well as the Kansas City businessman making deals in an executive boardroom. It could cause rural hospitals to close, schools to consolidate, small county seats to cease to exist—absolutely devastating rural Main Street and the suburban kitchen table not long after. Imagine paying over a third more for your groceries or at a restaurant. Imagine having to drive even further to another town because staple stores on main street had to shut down.

“It’s a double whammy: less economic activity and higher cost of living. I need not remind folks that agriculture and its related businesses have roughly a $30 billion impact on the Kansas City region and support more than 100,000 jobs in the greater Kansas City area. Losing $10 billion and 34,000 jobs would devastate Kansas City, where our agricultural products routinely pass through on trucks, trains, and barges. Wichita could lose over 2,100 jobs and $600 million.”

In response to Biden’s wrong-headed thinking, Marshall introduced a 30 x 30 Termination Act to prevent even more excessive government over-reach. Additionally, 16 farm-state governors sent a letter to Biden on February 22 warning of his federal overreach. You can be sure that the Biden administration will covet no land in cities where they want to herd our population, meaning farmland will be the primary focus of their land grab.

Writing at on March 7, 2021, Craig Andresen, who co-authored a four-part series on government land grabs with Diane Sori at Right Side Patriots, said:

“If the federal government ends up owning 30 percent of farm and ranch land, and 30 percent of the water in this country, that leaves it up to the federal government what can be raised on that land, how much of what kind of livestock can be raised on that land, and eventually, what price those commodities bring which affects the farmers and ranchers as well as those who purchase said commodities.”

Or whether the Biden administration will take that land completely out of production so as to make room for the president’s green energy plans. 

Indeed, that appears to be Biden’s objective. His EO also asserts:

“The Secretary of the Interior shall review siting and permitting processes on public lands and in offshore waters to identify to the Task Force steps that can be taken, consistent with applicable law, to increase renewable energy production on those lands and in those waters, with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030 ….”

While also stating:

“… the Secretary … shall pause new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters pending completion of a comprehensive review and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices in light of … potential climate … impacts.”

No state authorities will be consulted by the Secretary in completing that review. So, you can be sure the land taken over by the Feds will be used to follow through on the green new deal to build more wind turbines and solar collectors to further increase your electric bills. 

And, remember, America is already continuously losing productive farmland to urban sprawl. So, we continue to diminish our ability to feed an ever-growing world population while turning productive land into unproductive land, thereby decreasing the economic activity in agriculture. 

And, of course, taxes will have gone up to make up for the fact that so much land will be taken off the tax rolls. The federal government will give some of the money that local governments will no longer have back to the states to give to their schools. So, the feds will increasingly take over our schools as well.

Clearly, we must marshal sensible voices to throw this government out as soon as possible, starting by taking back the Congress in November of 2022. Otherwise, we can kiss vast tracts of America goodbye.


Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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