How federal regulation, not climate change, explains California's wildfire crisis: experts
The fuel to California's wildfires is the government, not climate change, experts say
Democrats like President Biden often point to California's devastating wildfires as evidence of climate change, but center-right policy experts claim that federal regulation and poor forest management, not climate change, best explain the fiery devastation in the Golden State.
"The problem is not global warming or any other extraneous factor, it's forest mismanagement," Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said in a press call with other center-right experts. "I would call it eco-imperialism."
In a separate interview with Fox News, Ebell explained that the federal government owns 57 percent of the forest land in California, but approximately 80 percent of the lumber produced in California comes from private lands, thanks to federal regulation and misconceptions about the role of logging in forest management. While environmentalists see logging as an exploitation of the environment, logging actually serves a key role in removing extra lumber that can build up and increase the risk of devastating fires.
By "eco-imperialism," Ebell told Fox News, he means that "the support for locking things up and not using them is really based on the fact that most of the decision-makers live in urban areas and they don’t know what the forests need but they believe that locking them up is the way to preserve the environment."
'The federal government actually controls the rural economies of the Western states," the analyst explained. While the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service "believed in the productive use of the resources – timber, mining, oil and gas production" for decades, these agencies have severely restricted that use since the 1990s.
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