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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Out-of-State Senators Encroach Upon Florida's Waters

In the ultimate chutzpah bill of 2007, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho and Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota have proposed that the United States government should hand over Floridian waters to oil drilling.

Since the Senators from Idaho and North Dakota feel that they're entitled to give away our little piece of the pie, then I suggest that we return the favor.

First, North Dakota has a population of only 27 people (and Sallie Mae is rumored to be pregnant, which will bring it to a whopping 28). So, I think we can safely say that there's much that we can do with this under-utilized land:

1. Use it for nuclear weapons testing and biological weapons experiments. This is an ideal place to test the Ebola virus on capuchin monkeys, with no possibility of it affecting any humans when we relocate the 27 (or possibly 28) North Dakota citizens.

2. There's apparently a lot of fresh, glacial water to be had in North Dakota. Assuming we choose to perform the nuclear weapons testing in Idaho instead, we could petition the government for a water pipeline to be constructed. Since Florida's population has boomed, there always seems to be a water shortage. This would easily solve the shortage, and we would no longer need to be discussing desalinization plants.

3. North Dakota is mostly a farming area. Since Florida has grown so rapidly, orange groves are being edged out. I suggest that we adopt a new crop as our standard; sugar beets! We will simply allocate most of North Dakota for this crop, and we can even process it there (so we can avoid factories and the pollution that ensues). I'm sure that the 27 (or possibly 28) citizens there won't object.

As North Dakota has little else to offer, let's move on to Idaho. As we all know, Idaho is famous for the following schoolyard joke:

Boy: Where ya from?
Girl: Idaho!
Boy: I didn't ask what you were, I asked where you were from!

But jokes get us nowhere, and I certainly hope that no one would think I was casting aspersions on the citizens of Idaho. Instead, let's tackle what Idaho can offer Floridians:

1. Idaho's best-known crop is potatoes: We see them advertised everywhere! And United States citizens consume more potatoes than almost any other food. We eat them mashed, baked, fried into chips or served as fries with every burger. So, I think we Floridians could appropriate their potato crops and make a hefty profit. And, as we might do with sugar beets in North Dakota, we can keep those nasty processing plants in Idaho so they can't interfere with tourism in any way.

2. In 2006, 23% of Idaho's population registered as practicing Mormons. They've grown rapidly from a mere 14% in 2001. With roughly a quarter of the population being Mormon, we have a strong market for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Now, in Florida there is a great deal of land owned by the Mormons. They're known to snap up land, and it's admittedly a good investment. So, why don't we sell them some more land in Idaho? If we sell enough Idaho land to the LDS, Florida may be able to afford that high speed rail that we've been dreaming about.

3. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), a government lab for nuclear energy research, is located in Idaho. Perhaps we should consider moving The INL to North Dakota. They would then have the handy option that they undoubtedly don't have in Idaho: The ability to conduct nuclear testing. And, of course, if The INL is testing in North Dakota, it will lessen the chance of affecting any Floridian potato crops.

I think these suggestions could work! I recommend that Floridian Senators Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez attach them to the current bill that Senators Craig and Dorgan have so thoughtfully produced. This way, we all will profit and (as I'm sure that Senators Craig and Dorgan will agree) it's a fair exchange.

9 comments:

Matt said...

Hey NIMBY,

I suggest we open North Dakota to nuclear waste storage from around the world, which should be a booming business for them... what with North Korea and Iran coming online.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Matt, I like the suggestion! In all seriousness, no, this is not simply NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). You see, a bill was already passed last year allowing drilling off Florida. The difference is that, as the St. Pete Times editorialized today:

"The law crafted by Florida Sens. Bill Nelson and Mel Martinez keeps oil rigs at least 150 miles from the Panhandle and more than 200 miles off west coast beaches. In return, it opens a vast stretch of the eastern gulf to exploration."

This new bill brings it in closer at only 45 miles out from shore. The ink is barely dry on the other bill, which was a great compromise to begin with.

And, of course, the ultimate insult is that these are out of state senators happily throwing us to the wolves.

Hans said...

First, the problem with the nuclear waste storage suggestion is that nobody even wants the waste coming through their state. So getting it to North Dakota is going to be a little tricky.

Second, we have to do something radical in regard to our national energy policy. We will never win the war on terror as we will never win the war on drugs because we are funding both sides of the fight. The Middle East is relevant because that is where the oil is and we get a whole host of problems that go along with that. Our choices are to either get our thirst for oil under control or to find that energy here. Maybe looking at oil platforms from Clearwater Beach is the price we have to pay for driving the Expedition and parking it in the 3 car garage of our 3500 sqft McMansion.

Finally, I really don’t know the details of this particular bill. I read the editorial after reading your post and I too thought this was settled business. As the saying goes, if you’re a Senator you’re either under investigation or running for President, so I suspect this may be about self promotion by generating controversy.

Cranky Yankee said...

"Maybe looking at oil platforms from Clearwater Beach is the price we have to pay for driving the Expedition and parking it in the 3 car garage of our 3500 sqft McMansion."

Very nicely put..

Also, territorial waters are a federal issue not states.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I suggest we declare North Dakota and Idaho to be "Immigrant Freedom Zones", and ANY illegal aliens who get there are instant legal residents. As long as they stay there.

This will relieve overcrowding in LA and Miami. And Tampa. And Orlando. And a bunch of places in Texas. And so on.

We can also use North Dakota as a place to dump all the waste from Florida's nuke plants. Currently it is all stored on site awaiting a better home.

We can also farm our prisons to these two states. Who needs prisons in Florida, hogging up potentially valuable land? build massive complexes there, and send inmates up north. That way if they escape at least they can add fresh DNA to the limited gene pool.

Miami-Dade is running out of landfills. We could use a better place to put all our stinky garbage.

I think that as a Florida Resident, I should be allowed to take a shit anywhere I want to in North Dakota and Idaho. The public sidewalks, inside supermarkets - anywhere.

The platforms will probably get built regardless of what Florida's two senators do. They are only 2 votes out of 100. And Exxon/Mobile needs more profit. At this point it may be better for them to add on amendments that stipulate a LARGE PERCENTAGE of the revenue generated from the oil platforms go to environmental restoration projects. Indian River Lagoon, The Everglades, Biscayne Bay, San Carlos Bay, and so on.

No profit = no reason to drill.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Now then, let's not get nationalistic. I mean, can we get South Dakota in on this?

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I love you Saur, but even given natural sarcasm your ignorance about Idaho is a bit embarrassing. I will have to say that your prospect for selling Idaho Land has promise. The Federal government owns well over 50 percent of the land mass of Idaho and I would support anything that will get some of that land into private hands that pay taxes.

Saur♥Kraut said...

3 Score & 10, I freely admit I have great ignorance about Idaho. ;o) As you know, my point is that the Senator from Idaho also has great ignorance about Florida. And in my case, I'm not truly trying to infringe on his use of the land.

Old Hoss, What, there's a South Dakota? Kidding! What are your recommendations?

Lazy Iguana, excellent suggestions!

Cranky, I do know that it's a federal issue, technically. However, almost anything could become a federal issue nowadays. After all, Uncle Sam has expanded his powers and flexed his muscles under the Patriot Act, so can we truly say that any rights will remain rights? Any way, federal issue or no, encroaching on our waters at a mere 45 miles out will impact our enjoyment of the land and waters. It will interfere with deep sea fishing tours to a certain extent... and any oil spills will almost certainly impact our shores.

Hans, I most sincerely doubt they want to court negative publicity such as that. However, as I once indicated in my Letter to the Woman in the Black Hummer, I completely disapprove of SUVs and other gas-wasting vehicles.

Hans said...

Saur-

You’ve made me do it. It being a little research on the proposed bill and I mean very little. I found this press release from the Union of Concerned Scientist.

http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/bipartisan-support-0015.html

The release acknowledges that “we simply cannot drill our way out of addiction” and the futility of this portion of the bill but also puts it into the context of a larger bill that is designed to cut our dependence on fossil fuels.

Given the choice of more oil drilling in the Gulf or more of our blood and the blood of children and our children’s children in the sands of the Middle East, I’ll vote for drilling in the Gulf everyday of the week and twice on Sunday.

Bad publicity is getting caught sending racy text messages to Congressional Pages not having your name associated with a bill cutting dependence on fossil fuel.

Hans