Friday, July 15, 2011

Will Homeland Security Soon Control Cape Cod?

The Department of Homeland Security may take control of the National Seashore. What sounds like a preposterous idea is actually being considered by the House of Representatives. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, introduced the bill, claiming federal and local laws and oversight have interfered with border security and that border areas are "overrun with criminal activity."

I don’t think he’s referring to Cape Cod, but still the National Seashore is definitely implicated as a coastal area. This new bill makes me shudder. Sure, sometimes I look at an empty beach at twilight and wonder whether terrorists could launch an invasion during low tide. That thought has crossed my mind. But, would they? Probably not.

Were Homeland Security in charge here, the environmental laws in effect today would cease to apply. To quote Kaimi Rose Lum in the Banner, “It would give the Dept. of Homeland Security the ability to construct roads and fences, deploy patrol vehicles and set up monitoring equipment … and it would waive the need for the Dept. of Homeland Security to comply with environmental laws in areas within 100 miles of a coastline or international border.”

But never fear. Congress has good sense. This bill will never win approval. What?? Sven tells me the House has just passed H.R. 2018 to limit state water standards. Huh? H.R. 2018 would roll back key provisions of the Clean Water Act. I just checked and Rep. Keating voted nay. Please check how your Congressperson voted. According to an editorial in the New York Times today, H.R. 2018 "is about allowing industries, municipalities, and farmers to pollute." The bill goes to the Senate next.

If you’re as depressed as I am by this type of recent activity in Congress, and by the attempts to cut/limit, change Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, listen to Keith Olbermann speak out on corporate greed.

How do you feel about Homeland Security’s potential take-over of the Cape Cod National Seashore?