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Joint Oversight Hearing on "The Border: Are Environmental Laws and Regulation Impeding Security and Harming the Environment?"
Friday, April 15, 2011 9:30 AM
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense, and Foreign Operations & The Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks Forests and Public Lands
2154 Rayburn House Office Building


THE COMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY, HOMELAND DEFENSE, AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS
AND
THE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FOREST AND PUBLIC LANDS

2154 Rayburn House Office Building
Friday, April 15, 2011
9:30 a.m.





JOINT SUBCOMMITTEE OVERSIGHT HEARING ON:

  • "The Border: Are Environmental Laws and Regulation Impeding Security and Harming the Environment?"

OPENING STATEMENT:

The Honorable Doc Hastings
Committee on Natural Resources Chairman

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I

Honorable Silvestre Reyes
Member of Congress (TX-16)

Panel II

Ronald Vitiello
Deputy Chief
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Kim Thorsen
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Policy, Management and Budget
Department of the Interior

Jay Jensen
Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Panel III

George Zachary Taylor
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers
Founding Member and Retired Supervisory Border Patrol Agent
Nogales, TX
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Gene Wood
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers
Founding Member, and Former Sector Chief Patrol Agent
McAllen, TX and San Diego, CA
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Jim Chilton
Chilton Ranch
Arivaca, AZ
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Anu Mittal
Government Accountability Office

BACKGROUND:

Serious security gaps exist on federal lands along the northern and southern U.S. border. Internal documents have shown that DOI land managers are using environmental regulations to hinder U.S. Border Patrol security efforts. As a result, our federal lands have become a highway open to criminals, drugs smugglers, human traffickers and potentially terrorists. This has led to escalated violence and also caused severe destruction of the environment.

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