sage brush

Hold on to your wallet!

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell wants to improve energy development on public lands and protect the West from climate change, which loosely translated means, uhm, hold on to your wallet.

Jewell hit all of the enviroweenie bells and whistles during a speech Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on “strengthening our nation’s economy with a balanced, prosperous energy future over the next two years.”

And of course, greenies can’t talk about energy development without devolving into some extinct Aztec tribal chief sacrificing virgins at the alter in some vain attempt to control the weather.

From Fuel Fix:

America’s public lands should be enlisted in the fight against climate change even as they sustain conventional oil and gas development, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday.

“Helping our nation cut carbon pollution should inform our decisions about where we develop, how we develop and what we develop,” Jewell said. “New energy development should be matched with new protections for lands and waters.”

Watch out Colorado, whenever Washington tries to protect the West, they wreck our economy.

Jewell outlined a broad and aggressive regulatory agenda aimed at oil and gas development on public lands and waters — with mandates on the horizon to curb venting and flaring, regulate hydraulic fracturing and boost the power of blowout preventers safeguarding offshore wells.

The Bureau of Land Management is set to finalize its rule for hydraulic fracturing on public lands — including requirements for chemical disclosure and water management at the sites — “in the coming days,” Jewell said.

We’re keeping an eagle-eye out for those regs. We’ve already set the Google news alert for “Block,” “Fracking,” “Climate Change.”

Meanwhile, in matters just as important but dramatically overblown and downright daffy, Jewell made this little gem of a comment while addressing the sage grouse endangered species listing, and why preservation of the sagebrush is so high on the government’s agenda.

That’s right, we said sagebrush – those gnarly wood bushes that blanket the western landscape are now in the same worshipful category as the California Redwoods.

This is how Jewell explained it:

“We think about redwood forests in California as old growth forests, we think about my home State of Washington, the Olympic peninsula, and the old growth trees there as really incredible habitat worthy of protection. We have old growth sagebrush ecosystems throughout the great basin that are equally important to 350 species, Greater Sage Grouse is one of them but mule deer, pronghorn antelope, hundreds of other species call these places home.”

Granted sagebrush can grow for more than 100 years, but a 700-year-old redwood, it ain’t.

We might compare it to the trees in Washington State, but only because another bird, the Northern Spotted Owl, was used there exactly like the grouse is being brandished to stop the development of natural resources.

We can’t wait for the brush-huggers to descend on the Western Slope to protect millions of sage stumps. Some helpful advice for your sit-in, you’ll need ladders to reach into the tall canopies of the sagebrush.

Or if you prefer to strap yourself to the brush to protect it from danger, you’ll need to wear camouflage so as not to disturb the grouse eating the shrub you are so desperately trying to hug.