The Bush administration is auctioning off the mineral rights to the largest undisturbed aspen forest in the world for gas develpement. It's located in the Uncompaghre National Forest in CO. That'll mean literally hundreds of miles of roads and a 5-cre well pad for every 20 acres of land -- this is what Colorado law allows.
Don't forget- when the Federal government opens public lands for drilling and/or clear-cutting, the mining and timber companies don't pay for the roads they use to get those natural resources at firesale prices- the taxpayers pay for construction & maintenance. And what happens when those resources are exhausted and the land needs reclaimation? That would be us again. Gotta love corporate welfare subsidies.
(BTW- I think that this is relevant to The Buzz- mining industry pollution directly affects more than 12,000 miles of rivers.)
As ticked off as most of us are about Hippy impact, let's not take our eye off the ball. It's hard for me to understand how fiscal conservatives don't as worked up about this kind of economic burden as they do about school lunches and the National Endowment for the Arts. To be fair in the criticism- Democrats have been bought out as well. Here's an interesting essay on the subject: http://www.omsys.com/jeremy/corpwelf.htm
Repa- you back from Grand Trip #2? You know you are a bastard.