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John Stewart

Omnibus Public Lands Bill

In a Feb 6, 2009 letter, the Congressional Budget Office provided an analysis of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 as passed by the Senate on Jan 15, 2009.

According to CBO estimates, the legislation would have no effect on revenues or direct spending under terms of the “pay-as-you-go” budget resolution.

However, paragraph 3 of the CBO letter notes the legislation would AUTHORIZE APPROPRIATIONS for dozens of projects estimated to exceed $5.5 billion in costs over a 5 year period.

Key words are: revenue, direct spending, and appropriations.
Read more about the Omnibus Public Lands Bill for The 4x4Voice ....
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John Stewart

Fire Risk Increasing

The green of spring is rapidly turning into the brown of summer. And, unfortunately, many areas are being turned into fire-blackened lands.

Public land managers in the western states have begun issuing fire restrictions. Many homes are located in the "wildlands-urban interface" area and are at risk from fire. Many recreation activities are conducted in areas affected by fire danger. Please do your part in reducing the risk to our public lands and ensuring the safety of yourself and others. Check with your local Forest Service Ranger District or Bureau of Land Management Field Office for the latest information on fire precautions and restrictions in your area.

For the latest fire information:

National Interagency Fire Center - http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/nfn.htm


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John Stewart

California Call to Action: Two Anti-Gun Bills are Expected to be Heard Next Tuesday

English: Top half is the assembled magazine wi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Contact members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee Today

On Tuesday, April 2, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety will consider two drastic and sweeping restrictions on the sale of lawful firearms and ammunition in California.

Assembly Bill 48 (Skinner), would ban the sale of magazine parts kits that can hold more than ten cartridges, it would ban the sale or transfer of ammunition by anyone other than a licensed firearms dealer and would require that every single ammunition transfer be reported to the state.  Under this unprecedented attack on ammunition, millions of law-abiding gun owners would become criminals.

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John Stewart

Money, Quality, Jobs

After reading the below press release, I was struck by the seemingly diametrically opposed views.  While hunters and anglers believe it is important to buy "Made in America"; they seem to draw the line when it comes to the cost difference.  While they want "Made in America", they are not willing to pay what it takes to have "Made in America".  Quality is not cheap. But, neither is life in America...

“Made in U.S.A.” Makes a Difference to Sportsmen, but Price Still a Big Factor

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL — When HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com sought to determine how much weight the “Made in U.S.A.” tag carried with sportsmen when making purchases of outdoor equipment, they found most respondents agreed that U.S.-made products were of better quality and it was important to buy them. They also discovered there is only but so much most hunters and anglers are willing to pay for that label.

When asked how important it is to buy fishing tackle or hunting equipment that is made in the U.S.A. nearly 89 percent of anglers said it was very or somewhat important, while 94 percent of hunters said it was very or somewhat important. At the same time, 47 percent of those anglers feel U.S.-made tackle is generally better in quality and 63 percent of hunters believe U.S.-made hunting gear is better than equipment made overseas.

So how much more are sportsmen willing to pay to support American jobs? If the “Made in U.S.A.” product is five percent or less in cost, 85 percent of anglers and 89 percent of hunters report will buy the American-made product. But after that, numbers begin to drop sharply, and once the U.S. product exceeds 20 to 30 percent in cost, only 34 percent of anglers and 36 percent of hunters say they are willing to pay the difference.

“All things being equal, sportsmen appreciate American quality and are certainly eager to support American jobs; however, it doesn’t take much of a price difference before economic realities set in and hunters and anglers are forced to make important decisions about how much they will spend,’” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, which designs and conducts the surveys at HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com. “There is a reason why imported products take up so much retail space. Hunters and anglers, like all other consumers, want to get more for their limited dollars. As long as U.S. production costs remain high, whether related to taxes or other factors, imported products will continue to own a large share of the U.S. market.”

To help continually improve, protect and advance the shooting sports and outdoor recreation, all sportsmen and sportswomen are encouraged to participate in the surveys at HunterSurvey.com, ShooterSurvey.com and/or AnglerSurvey.com. Each month, participants who complete the survey are entered into a drawing for one of five $100 gift certificates to the sporting goods retailer of their choice.

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John Stewart

Solar power plants burden the counties that host them

The "gift horse" of economic income to counties from siting of solar energy projects appears to be a tired horse ready for retirement.  The below article from the LA Times notes "Eager for jobs and tax money, Mojave Desert counties welcomed big solar projects. But they may have been too optimistic. And expanding emergency services and infrastructure isn't cheap."

While companies will reap profits, taxpayers and rate payers will be footing the bill for many years to come...

By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times,  November 25, 2012 - Solar power plants burden the counties that host them Eager for jobs and tax money, Mojave Desert counties welcomed big solar projects. But they may have been too optimistic. And expanding emergency services and infrastructure isn't cheap. When it comes to attracting business to California's eastern deserts, Inyo County is none too choosy.

Since the 19th century the sparsely populated county has worked to attract industries shunned by others, including gold, tungsten and salt mining. The message: Your business may be messy, but if you plan to hire our residents, the welcome mat is out.

So the county grew giddy last year as it began to consider hosting a huge, clean industry. BrightSource Energy, developer of the proposed $2.7-billion Hidden Hills solar power plant 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles, promised a bounty of jobs and a windfall in tax receipts. In a county that issued just six building permits in 2011, Inyo officials first estimated that property taxes from the facility would boost the general fund 17%.

But upon closer inspection, the picture didn't seem so rosy.

An economic consultant hired by the county found that property tax revenue would be a fraction of the customary amount because portions of the plant qualifiy for a solar tax exclusion. Fewer than 10 local workers would land permanent positions — and just 5% of the construction jobs would be filled by county residents. And construction workers are likely to spend their money across the nearby state line, in Nevada.

Worse, the project would cost the county $11 million to $12 million during the 30-month construction phase, with much of the money going to upgrade a historic two-lane road to the plant. Once the plant begins operation, the county estimates taxpayers will foot the bill for nearly $2 million a year in additional public safety and other services.

Two of California's other Mojave Desert counties, Riverside and San Bernardino, have made similar discoveries. Like Inyo, they are now pushing back against solar developers, asking them to cover the costs of servicing the new industry.

Source: Los Angles Times

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