Flashback: 20 Years Ago Today - When President Bill Clinton Locked Up $1 Trillion in Clean Coal in Southern Utah

Remember the Lippo Group? Remember the names James and Mochtar Riady?

(AP PHOTO) Vice President Al Gore applauds after President Bill Clinton signs a bill designating about 1.7 million acres of land in southern Utah's red-rock cliff as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument 9/19/96)

The Lippo Payoff:

By Sarah Foster: 
When the President signed the Executive Order designating 1.7 million acres of land in southwest Utah as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National
Monument, his action placed the area off limits to mineral extraction and

The New York Times reported that the monument encloses the largest coal
field in the nation, the Kaiparowitz Plateau, which contains at least 7
billion tons of coal worth over $1 TRILLION.

Kentucky-based company Andalux Resources, which holds leases on 3,400 acres in the area, was planning to open a huge operation that would have generated 1,000 jobs, $1 million in annual revenue for Kane County, and at least $10 million a year in state and federal taxes, according to the New York Times. Folks living in the area wore black arm bands the day o the signing - but Clinton didn't see them. He chose to make his announcement in a neighboring state. WHY?

Why did he do it? Why lock up $1 trillion worth of coal?

An obvious explanation is he was hoping to secure the environmentalist vote. Though that was no doubt part of his reasoning, he had surely achieved such an objective earlier this summer when he declared the huge area outside Yellowstone National Park a World Heritage Area. Let'' look further.

In the weeks prior to the past election, revelations surfaced almost daily
regarding donations from foreign sources to the Democratic Party and
Clinton's past campaigns. At the center of the controversy was another set
of people to whom Clinton owes a few favors: the Lippo Group, a powerful $5 billion Indonesian conglomerate, founded and owned by the Riady family who, it turned out, had raised and funneled millions of dollars into campaign coffers.
Read the rest below the fold---->

Democrats attempted to downplay the allegations of impropriety. Even if the Clinton campaign and the Party did receive illegal contribution- which is
denied -what, they demanded, had Clinton done for Lippo Group, the Riadys, or Indonesia that really affects this country adversely? Good question. The Payoff

Clinton's announcement at the Grand Canyon was wrapped in political
correctness. "Mining jobs are good jobs, and mining is important to our
national security - but we can't have mines everywhere, and we shouldn't
have mines that threaten national treasures," he told his sycophantic

But coal is not only important for our nation's security. More importantly,
at the present time it is the most cost-effective fuel for the electric
plants that supply our homes and industries with light, heat and power.

Moreover, the coal at Kaiporowitz Plateau is a kind of coal that is not
found "everywhere." It is very low sulfur, low ash - hence, low polluting -
coal, the kind in high demand for power plants, such as one being designed
for Ensenada, Mexico. That megawatt giant, presently on the drawing boards, will supply electricity across northern Baja, an area plagued by brownouts.

Had it not been taken off the world market, the logical source of coal for
the Baja plant would be the Kaiparowitz Plateau. Once mined it could be
transported by rail to the ports of Long Beach or LA, then by barge to Ensenada. Thanks to Clinton, there will be no exporting of Kaiparowitz coal, which means the facility's procurement people will have to look elsewhere for clean non-polluting fuel.

Only two other sources

Besides the Kaiparowitz Plateau, there are only two other known locations in the world where comparable coal is found in sufficient quantities to make
mining it worthwhile. Colombia in South America is one, but it'll be years
before the necessary mining and shipping infrastructure is built.

The other? You got it. Indonesia.

That's right - the coal fields of South Kalimantan, Indonesia. Big
plans are online for its development. Indonesia has been a source of coal
for over a century, but the coal varies sharply in terms of quality.
Recently, however, a coal that is very low in sulfur has been discovered. A
number of coal companies are already there, and it's a good bet Lippo Group money is involved.

-Written By Sarah Foster