Statements by Hastings and Bishop at Subcommittee Hearing on Legislation to Lock Up U.S. Uranium Resources
Members Also Oppose Administration’s Unilateral Decision to Block

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 21, 2009 - Today, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) and National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (UT-01) delivered the following opening statements regarding yesterday’s announcement by the Obama Administration to block new uranium mining for two years on a million acres of land in Arizona and legislation by Rep. Grijalva to make this ban permanent.

Statement by Rep. Rob Bishop


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Statement by Rep. Doc Hastings


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Excerpts:

“Secretary Salazar was given a letter of questions that we thought was imperative to be answered before any kind of action took place. Not only was the letter ignored, but there were no answers to any of those questions given before he did his unilateral action...

In 1983 and ‘84 this issue was solved by bringing the special interest together, government leaders and the business that is impacted in something that was called, by Mo Udall himself, ‘an amazing process that was built by the bottom up in Arizona, not imposed on Arizona from Washington’ -something that didn’t happen on Monday…

I’m assuming we are going to hear others today who will tell us that the conditions have changed since 1983 and ‘84. They’re wrong. There are some who will say that water conditions have changed. They will be wrong. There will be some who will say the energy demands have changed. And those people are spot-on accurate...

The Secretary of the Interior unilaterally and arbitrarily made a multi-year decision for a moratorium without input, without science and obviously without understanding…

It is interesting to note that the State Legislature of Arizona passed a resolution that condemned the action that Secretary of the Interior took on Monday, condemning this bill. The county where this will be residence passed a resolution condemning this bill and this particular action of this Interior Secretary...

If this bill should go forward it needs to have a hearing, it needs to have input – not what Secretary Salazar did.”

Excerpts:

Once again, this is another example of the Obama Administration saying no to American energy and no to American jobs…

Unfortunately, this Administration has chosen to adopt a high-priced gourmet energy plan that only uses certain types of American energy – and focuses almost solely on green jobs. We can all support the creation of green jobs and how they can contribute to our economic future. However, the 14.7 million Americans who are unemployed aren’t just looking for green jobs. They need green jobs, nuclear jobs, drilling jobs, oil and gas jobs, manufacturing jobs and the thousands of jobs that depend on uranium development...

What’s even more troubling about yesterday’s announcement is that the Administration made this unilateral decision without consulting with Congress, and without providing answers to detailed questions asked by House Republicans in a letter sent to Secretary Salazar last March.

And we’ll have to keep waiting for answers to those questions because not one single official from the Administration is here today to testify.

It is outrageous that while the Administration is single-handedly making decisions that will cost jobs and block energy development, they are not even here to explain their actions and provide us with more detailed information.

For an Administration that promised to be open and transparent, I am deeply troubled by their actions yesterday and their absence today – and hope this isn’t foreshadowing their arbitrary and heavy-handed approach to crafting our national energy policy.”

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Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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