Giving away our trees to corporate chain saws

Atlanta Journal

Right-wing state legislatures all over the country are bending over backwards to sell out taxpayers and give greedy corporations anything they want.

The Raleigh News & Observer has a story this morning about new regulations rammed through the North Carolina General Assembly that allow billboard owners to cut down more state-owned trees. The same thing has been going on in Georgia. No doubt this is happening in other states as well.

Most Americans have no idea that our laws are rarely written by legislators. Rather, lobbyists and corporations write the legislation, and legislators line up at the troughs to sponsor the legislation in exchange for fat donations. The billboard legislation — like anti-union legislation and other giveaways to private interests — is part of a coordinated push by corporations to get their legislation passed by right-wing state legislatures all over the country. It’s no different, of course, in the U.S. Congress.

The billboard themselves are bad enough. But destroying public property — living trees — to make billboards more visible ought to be a crime. Instead, new laws freely give away taxpayer-owned trees to be cut down. To right-wingers eager to drag us peasants back to the dark ages and to enrich corporations at taxpayer expense, that’s not a crime. It’s progress.

2 thoughts on “Giving away our trees to corporate chain saws”

  1. Happy New Year David!! Today in the Citizen-Times in the Asheville newspaper they also had an article today about clearing trees from the front of the Billboards… Nothing saddens me more than to see all those billboards trashing up the natural beauty of the mountains. Especially at night when they are all blinking bright lights and blinding you as you wind around the mountain roads! Have you ever even used any of the info on one of those billboards? I never have… I know when I’m close to Disney World and what exit it is on… I don’t need 150 billboards to guide me to it!!! South of the Boarder also has a million billboards advertising your getting close…. The more I see the billboards the more I don’t want to stop in…

  2. RALEIGH — Newly approved rules are giving billboard companies a break, allowing them to expand the view by cutting down many more trees without having to replace them.

    The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the General Assembly last year allowed an expanded clear-cutting zone around billboards. A state commission has just approved temporary rules that stop the state Department of Transportation from requiring that trees be replanted.

    Opponents fear thousands of roadside trees that are decades old will be lost. State Rep. Chuck McGrady says he’s seen trees already marked for removal around billboards on Interstate 26 near the Republican’s Henderson County home.

    An attorney for the billboard industry says forcing companies to replant trees where trees are sparse like Interstate 40 between Raleigh and Wilmington wouldn’t be right.

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