I found this letter that describes just how this mitigation idea works and I felt it would be a good addition to what I have written so far. I make no claim to this letter only that it describes the money in simple form. What makes this letter credible is the person writing the letter is an Environmental Engineer who is in the business of EPA regulatory and permitting. I found this letter on
SOC912 Facebook Group
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Marc Harris <[address removed]>
Date: Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 4:03 PM
Subject: RE: ALERT!!!! Feds Plan to Raid Bundy Ranch!
To: Bobby TEA Florentz <[address removed]>
I watched the video by StormClouds Gathering, and the BLM webpage that was hastily scrubbed was quite telling, along with the revelations of the sleazy (and I believe criminal) dealings involving Harry Reid, his son Rory, and the Chinese energy group ENN Energy.
I’ve been seeing a lot of discussions about the ENN purchase of Nevada land in order to do a massive solar energy plant; and the misinformation about it that is put out to hide the accurate facts; in particularly a major funding mechanism for the left.
As further clarification of the FACTS behind all this; here are the important details for all of us to understand:
I am an Environmental Engineer, and deal with land development and EPA regulatory/permitting issues all the time. All development projects in the US, even a “green” energy plant, must perform “OFFSITE MITIGATION”; that is, a replacing and managing on another piece of land of ANY negative environmental impacts a project may create on its primary site. This is also where the issue of the desert turtle is also relevant in the Bundy case.
There has been talk about ENN’s purchase of 9,300 acres near Laughlin, and it not being a direct purchase of any of Bundy’s grazing land, as well as the info released by Reid that the Laughlin land deal supposedly being cancelled. While accurate, there is a deliberate effort to cover up the facts, and distract the public and the media from the truth as it relates directly to the Bundy Ranch and their grazing rights.
The ENN solar plant is still very much in play, and both Reid and his son Rory have indeed completely sold out to ENN, and stand to gain millions from arranging for ENN to control all of the solar energy production in southern Nevada–on multiple sites.
So it doesn’t matter if the Laughlin 9300 acre land deal fell through, ENN is still going to buy desert land somewhere in Nevada, and build several solar production plants. Now, as it relates to the Bundy ranch, the turtles, and offsite mitigation:
Wherever ENN decides to build the solar plant(s), US environmental law requires that they must purchase a multiple ratio of land, usually 3:1, somewhere in the same area for conducting the mitigation. In other words, if ENN buys 10,000 acres to build their plant, and they remove any plants or grasses, or disrupt the habitat of any animal, such as the tortoise, on that land–which of course will happen–they must replace those plants and habitats in not less than 3 times the amount of land, or 30,000 acres, located in another area of the Nevada desert.
Here’s where the Democrats and the environmental left have created a huge money machine at, of course, the expense of developers and us, the American people: The federal government (and often officials in local government) designate public lands (like the Bundy’s grazing lands) as the mitigation sites, and SELL the right to conduct the legally-required mitigation on that land. This is not a sale of the land, just the right to satisfy the mitigation laws. The dollar amounts are based on a per-acre fee, they are arbitrarily set, and are cumulative; that is, so-much per acre for each species being mitigated. One of the reasons the Bundy land was so desperately needed right now–and still is–was because ENN can’t get any permits to build the solar project UNTIL they have secured the off-site mitigation lands. The sale of whatever land ENN ultimately purchases is contingent on obtaining the mitigation site. Is it now becoming clearer?
So, a 9,300 acre development may easily impact several hundred species of plants and animals, each of which has a different mitigation plan and cost. Thus, the fees could easily run into the millions of dollars per year, and run for 5 to 10 years or more. This is why the Laughlin land that appraised for over $28 million was being sold to ENN for $5 million: $5 million for the land, and $23 million for “mitigation”– on the Bundy grazing lands. (Even worse, the same mitigation land and management programs are often sold many times over!…as happened in a mitigation program I funded in CA).
Who gets that money? Only those “approved” third-party environmental management groups, which are created and operated by captive Democratic donors such as “Friends of the Desert Tortoise” and “Friends of the Joshua Tree”, etc. These shady organizations have questionable qualifications for the mitigation work they purport to do, yet receive hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to “manage” the mitigation area. What actually happens? The BLM does the actual “management”, and then sends the monitoring reports and work product to the Democratic donors who claim credit for doing it.
So in summary: Harry Reid and other Democrats like Pelosi, Boxer, et al, make sweetheart deals with land users like the Chinese, use their political clout to secure public lands for the necessary off-site mitigation (even if it means kicking someone else like the Bundys off that land), have the developers pay the mitigation fees to their pet donors, who then turn around and funnel those monies back to the Democrats and leftist environmental groups who then lobby for more strict environmental laws; or as the Democrats refer to them, “funding mechanisms”.
While repairing harm done to the environment during development may sound like a sensible activity, it has been seized upon and exploited by the Democrats for unethically amassing political and economic power, as well as personal enrichment, which was never the original intent of environmental policies.
The Democrats are essentially “selling” public lands and converting those monies into Democratic political campaign war chests and building personal fortunes.
To add insult to this sleazy irony, this game forces all conservative developers to unwittingly pay monies to the Democrats and the green extremist groups. So, even if you don’t agree with the left, you are funding their growth and muscle anyway.
This is the insidious deceit of environmental politics. Its not about the environment, its about money. And the left is controlling the entire game.
Which brings up a very important final issue: there exists absolutely no mechanisms in any of these laws and regulations to prevent or even discourage this kind of abuse, and certainly no oversight or other mechanisms in place to stop such corruption.
Shedding light on all of this could present an enormous opportunity to swing voters back to the right; or at least to the center, in both California, as well as in the US Senate.
Be sure and join us for our all-day Forum on Sunday, April 27 in Los Angeles on the environmental extremists’ assault on California’s farmers and ranchers. We’ll be presenting all of this and more, as well as protective measures everyone can take to protect their property, their rights, and their freedom in the face of such rampant corruption.