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By Steve Erdman
District 47 Senator 

Straight Talk from Steve

30 x 30


March 31, 2021 | View PDF

The most important principle of communism is the abolition of private property.

When Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto back in 1847 they declared the first principle of communism to be the “abolition of land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.” Today we are seeing this principle being implemented in a very large way.

On January 27, 2021 President Joe Biden issued Executive Order 14008, which is known as the Tackling the Climate Change Crisis at Home and Abroad order. Section 216 of this Executive Order directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop a program conserving at least 30 percent of all lands and waterways in the United States by the year 2030. Hence, this program is known today as the 30 X 30 program.

The President of the United States intends to raise your property taxes. The 30 X 30 program intends to preserve 680 million acres of land in the United States in its natural state; thus, preventing anyone from ever using these lands and their resources. Converting land from private ownership to federal lands entails taking these lands off of the property tax rolls. This would automatically result in a higher property tax burden for those already owning private lands.

Making these kinds of enormous land grabs will have devastating consequences for our economy in Nebraska. Many industries operating within our state’s borders depend upon our state’s natural resources, and these resources are now being put in jeopardy. These land grabs will surely affect our ability to raise crops, graze livestock, drill for oil, mine for minerals, and pump water from the Aquifer. In fact, it will even affect our ability to enjoy outdoor recreational activities, such as boating, fishing and hunting.

By passing this Executive Order President Joe Biden has revealed his bias against private ownership of land. Designating lands as federal preserves does not guarantee their preservation. Federal lands are often more susceptible to wildfires, insect infestations, and even disease. God gave us this land to manage, and private owners usually do a much better job of managing the land than does the federal government.

The President lacks constitutional and statutory authority to implement the 30 X 30 program. Executive Order 14008 never references the United States Constitution or any other federal statute which grants this kind of power to the executive branch of the federal government. Instead, these are matters which would be better left to Congress and the states, rather than by a Presidential Executive Order. By issuing an Executive Order, no debate on this issue has ever taken place.

The time for us to act is now. Morrill County recently adopted a resolution opposing Executive Order 14008, which includes a statement opposing the designation of county lands as “wilderness, wilderness study areas, wildlife preserves, and open space,” a statement supporting Nebraska’s water rights system, and a statement directing the 30 X 30 program to only take lands from willing landowners coupled with just compensation for the land at fair market value. I would like to encourage other counties in Nebraska to write similar resolutions.

President Joe Biden’s Executive Order undermines one of the most foundational principles of our American republic, namely the principle of private property. For this reason, our Founding Fathers wisely stated in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution that no citizen shall ever “be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”


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