Friday, October 30, 2009

The Senate Again Fails to Live Up to Its Oath of Office

Harris Sherman is an extreme environmentalist nominated by Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be Obama's Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and the Environment.

Sherman will have total control over 190 million acres of America (the size of Texas) as custodian of the National Forests. National Forests are not National Parks. National Forests are intended to be productive lands for energy from oil and natural gas, electricity from coal, strategic metals for our military and the machines that do our work, lumber and paper, farming and ranching, road-building material, boating, hunting and fishing, other recreation, and much more.

Harris Sherman is a proven enemy of what these federal lands are meant to provide to the nation and its citizens. He has been working to close roads in government lands to eliminate all economic development and visitor use, as recommended in the unfortunate "Clinton-Babbitt Roadless Rule" written by environmental groups in the 1990s. Several days ago I wrote to my congressmen regarding how this anti-human policy has adversely affected me any my family's access to land we had enjoyed for generations.

The US Constitution requires Senate confirmation of presidential appointees. The purpose of this process is, in large part, to satisfy the requirements imposed by the oath every senator takes, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God." Sadly, most senators are mere rubber stamps in these confirmation votes, believing that the president should be privileged to surround himself with whomever he pleases -- no matter how anti-American-values they may be. Such is the case with Harris Sherman.

Americans had little opportunity to examine Sherman's background before, during, or or after his confirmation hearing. Senators largely ignored his background and agenda altogether. In confirming Harris Sherman, every senator has failed to live up their oath of office.

It's time for some brave Senators to call for reconsideration of the confirmation of Harris Sherman to be Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and the Environment. Obama and the Senate must immediately reconsider the confirmation and stop Sherman before he takes even more public land from the public.

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