Natural Resources Committee - The Resources Roundup
The Latest Emails
March 28, 2014
Members Introduce Four Common Sense Bills to Update the Endangered Species Act
On Thursday, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Rep. Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming-at large), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX-19), and Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-02) introduced four limited bills to improve and update the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The bills are supported by all of the Members of the ESA Congressional Working Group, representing districts across the nation, and are based on the recommendations and findings of their report and input from a broad array of stakeholders, including the Western Governors' Association. The four bills focus on transparency and species recovery.
H.R. 4315 (Hastings) , 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act
H.R. 4316 (Lummis), Endangered Species Recovery Transparency Act
H.R. 4317 (Neugebauer), State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act
H.R. 4318 (Huizenga), Endangered Species Litigation Reasonableness Act
House Approves Measure to Ensure Public Participation in National Monument Designations
On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed HR 1459, the
Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act
by a bipartisan vote of 222 - 201. This bill, introduced by Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01), would require public participation before a presidentially-declared National Monument is made official under the Antiquities Act.
"When new national monuments are established by a President, there is absolutely no requirement that the public be given an opportunity to share their concerns or opinions about the potential designation. We're finding that this can result in complications about the management and execution of the designation itself. The application of NEPA would bring such issues to light prior to the designation being made. National monuments created by Congress are required to go through a public process that includes transparency and public participation. It's common sense that the public should be involved regardless of whether or not Congress or the President initiates the designation. Today's bill is a win for the American people," said Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01).
House Approves Bill to Ensure Affordable Electricity for American Families and Businesses
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 2824, the
Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act, with a bipartisan vote of 229-192. Sponsored by Representative Bill Johnson (OH-06) and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-05), this important legislation would protect American jobs, taxpayer dollars, and affordable energy by preventing the Obama Administration from continuing a wasteful process to develop new job-destroying coal regulations.
"H.R. 2824 is a critical piece of legislation designed to save taxpayer dollars and protect American jobs by fighting back against the Obama Administration's assault on coal - an abundant, reliable, and affordable energy resource. The Obama Administration's unnecessary rewrite of the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule has been grossly mismanaged, has suffered from potential political interference, and would shut down coal production as we know it. That is simply unacceptable. Passage of this legislation is necessary to stop the Obama administration from continuing with its reckless rulemaking process on a needless regulation that will directly cost thousands of hardworking American jobs and cause significant economic harm," said Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn.
Subpoena Issued to Department of the Interior Deputy Inspector General for Unredacted Report on Stream Buffer Zone Rule
On Tuesday, Chairman Hastings issued a subpoena to Department of the Interior Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall for an unredacted copy of the Office of Inspector General (IG) report on the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement's (OSM) efforts to rewrite the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule and a small number of related OIG documents.
"The IG is charged with being an independent watchdog for Congress. It's completely unacceptable and inappropriate for the IG to be taking orders from the Department, especially about what information to withhold from Congress. That's why today I have issued a subpoena to the Deputy Inspector General Kendall for this information,"said Chairman Hastings Tuesday on the House floor. "If the IG discovered on-going issues with the way the Department is currently conducting this rulemaking process, they have a responsibility and duty to share that information with Congress now. The Committee is not asking the IG for materials produced by the Department, but we are asking for materials and interviews produced by the IG's staff."
Obama Administration's Budget Falls Short for Water Storage, Hydropower and Long-Term Drought Relief
On Tuesday, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power held an oversight hearing examining the spending priorities outlined in the President's Fiscal Year 2015 budget request for the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), and the U.S. Geological Survey's Water program.
The hearing highlighted the importance of charting a roadmap to abundance by calling for the restoration of federal policies that aimed at increasing water and power supplies, and ending recurrent catastrophic drought. The hearing also reiterated the continued need for reliable, emissions-free, and relatively low cost hydropower for the millions of consumers that receive electricity generated at federal dams and reservoirs.
"Despite our continued efforts to bring Reclamation back to its core mission of supplying abundant and reliable water and power supplies, the 2015 budget request appears to be a wish list of programs designed to reduce human consumption, ration shrinking supplies, and resign ourselves to accepting frequent and catastrophic droughts. I doubt anyone here needs a reminder that this is an issue in California that we have dealt with exhaustively, but the reality is, long term solutions can only be found by expanding supply through multi-purpose facilities."said Subcommittee on Water and Power Chairman Tom McClintock (CA-04).