Letter to the Editor

Fair Returns for Public Lands Act, net neutrality

Monday, December 14, 2020

I hope the Fair Returns for Public Lands Act to reform the hundred-year-old law governing royalties and leasing of public land that Sens. Tom Udall and Chuck Grassley introduced passes. I’ve always wondered why the public commons owned by all Americans are leased to lowest “for profit” bidders to extract all and anything of value while leaving all the cleanup and restoration work/cost in our hands, the owners. And what if cleanup costs exceed lease payments received? To me that’s stealing taxpayer money. While this is a first step involving just oil and gas extracts, I challenge the senators to broaden the evaluation to all leases of any and all taxpayer owned land and buildings.

Rep. Megan Jones proposals for broadband internet at the state level are welcome, sensible and needed for all the reasons she stated. At the national level, net neutrality rules repealed by the FCC in 2018 should be reinstated. Net neutrality is the principle that individuals should be free to access all content and applications equally, regardless of the source, without internet service providers discriminating against specific online services or websites.

— Diane Smith, Spencer