In the U.S., a new House backed rule has re-valued public land at $0 to the tax payer for the purpose of disposing both lands and natural resources at a buried cost. The recent rule was written by Utah’s Congressman Rob Bishop, the House's Natural Resources Committee Chairman, and recently voted in favor of, by Congress as a change of rules by 234 to 193. Additionally, this type of ruling needs no oversight via the Senate.
The rule and vote passed but not without upset from some congressmen and environmental watchdog groups who say this is a precursory move towards a more aggressive energy and mineral backed GOP grab at public land to sell it off to private corporations, in the near future.
Think Progress warns, “Under Congressional Budget Office accounting rules, the House is required to account for the cost of any legislation it considers. Now, the House does not need to even estimate any financial losses from giving away public land. Bills to dispose of public land will skip several steps in the normal legislative process, coming up for a vote without any discussion of the costs and benefits.”
Before Rep. Bishop's rule, there has already been great concerns in preserving places like Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, and the Yellow Stone.
Arizona’s Congressman, Raul Grijalva warns, “This proposed rule change would make it easier to implement this plan by allowing the Congress to give away every single piece of property we own, for free, and pretend we have lost nothing of any value. Not only is this fiscally irresponsible, but it is also a flagrant attack on places and resources valued and beloved by the American people.”