I found two articles in my newsfeed this morning from sources I have rarely or never heard from, and on both sides of the political canyon. Both are related to the respective campaigns.
People for the American Way used a Forest Service case to make their point about the risk of more conservative judges being nominated by a Republican administration. Here’s the headline: “Trump Judge Tries to Permit Forest Service to Proceed with Commercial Logging of Trees Without Assessing Environmental Impact: Confirmed Judges Confirmed Fears.” They provide a reasonable summary of EPIC v. Carlson (which we reported here), but attack the dissent written by the Trump appointee, saying, “If it had been up to Trump judge Lee, however, that would not be the case, risking significant environmental injury.”
I’m not sure there is anything particularly unusual about this case – traditionally conservative judges seem to be more willing to defer to agency expertise (though Trump refers to agency expertise as “the swamp”). I do think it is unusual for a national forest lawsuit to be dragged into a presidential campaign.
Then there was the logger who spoke at the Republican National Convention, and was featured in Breitbart.
“Under Obama-Biden, radical environmentalists were allowed to kill the forests,” Dane said.
“Under President Trump, we’ve seen a new recognition of the value of forest management in reducing wildfires,” Dane said. “And we’ve seen new support for our way of life—where a strong back and a strong work ethic can build a strong middle class.”
“We want to build families where we’re raised and stand by communities that have stood by us,” Dane said. “We want that way of life available for the next generation, and we want our forests there too.”
The debates about the “value of forest management in reducing wildfires” of course haven’t been settled. But I’m more interested here in the idea that it should be the role of government to perpetuate anyone’s industry, job, hometown or “way of life,” logging in particular. (I always thought Republicans wanted to limit the role of government.)