Chairman Hastings Invitation Letter to Interior Department Officials to Testify at Full Committee Gulf Drilling Moratorium Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 18, 2012 -

Dear Mr. Black / Mr. Kemkar / Ms. Ishee / Mr. Cruickshank / Ms. Hanley:

The Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on July 25, 2012 to continue the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding 1) how a decision was made by the Obama Administration to impose a drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico that put thousands of people out of work and caused widespread economic harm and decreased American energy production, 2) whether the Obama Administration intentionally misrepresented the views of engineering experts in order to justify the unilateral moratorium decision, 3) how the Administration responded to complaints by the engineering experts following the misrepresentation of their views, and 4) an investigation by the Department of the Interior's ("Department") Office of Inspector General ("IG") into these matters. The Committee requests your attendance at this hearing to provide testimony and to answer questions on these topics.

For more than a year, this Committee has sought information and documents from the Department that would allow Congress to conduct an independent review of how the moratorium decision was made by political appointees without any technical or scientific justification and how a Department report was edited to incorrectly state peer reviewers had reviewed and supported the moratorium when in fact they had not.

Read the entire invitation letter sent to each Interior Department official HERE.