by Greg Walcher, Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in The Daily Sentinel
Don McLean ended “Vincent,” his classic tribute to Van Gogh, with the famous line, “They would not listen, they’re not listening still — perhaps they never will.”
The song was about the post-impressionist painter, but that line has been used in many political debates. It crosses my mind while hearing arguments against moving the Bureau of Land Management headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction. Writing two consecutive columns on the same subject is unprecedented for me, but so is the importance of this issue to the West, especially western Colorado. Moreover, opposition has begun to crystalize, and battle lines are drawn.
A few days ago I testified before the House Natural Resources Committee (on another subject), and had a chance to talk briefly with a majority staff director. I raised the subject of the BLM move and his reaction was blunt. “We are going to fight it tooth and nail,” he vowed. That vow does not necessarily portend specific action, as he only works for one side, albeit the majority (Democratic) side, which can be expected to oppose virtually every proposal from the Trump administration. Nor would the Republican Senate likely agree to any House legislation to block the move. The House committee’s opposition is not surprising, but its specific arguments are.