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Chairman Hastings Follow-up Letter to Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall on the Department of the Interior's Renewable Energy Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 22, 2012 -

Dear Ms. Kendall:

For several months, the Committee on Natural Resources has been looking into questions about possible political interference, lack of independence, and conflict of interest involving an investigation by the Office of Inspector General (“IG”) into the editing of a Department of the Interior offshore drilling report in May 2010.

In order to learn more about the operations and activities of the IG during the Obama Administration, the IG was recently asked to provide lists of all audits, investigations, and reviews concerning the Department’s renewable energy programs on federal lands, restoration of the Klamath Basin, and the Department’s implementation of its scientific integrity policy, including any scientific integrity complaints investigated by the IG.

In a July 20, 2012 letter, you responded that “an evaluation conducted in 2010 on renewable energy was suspended following a meeting with the Department to discuss our draft report.” The letter goes on to explain that the broad review was abandoned due to questions about the accuracy and timeliness of the data obtained from the Department. Given the existing questions about possible political interference into IG activities, the circumstances surrounding the decision to abandon the renewable energy investigation are troubling.

Read the entire letter HERE.

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