Chairman Hastings Invitation Letter to Department of the Interior Officials Neal Kemkar and Mary Katherine Ishee to Testify at Full Committee Oversight Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 30, 2012 -

Dear Mr. Kemkar and Ms. Ishee:

On July 18, 2012, you were both invited to voluntarily appear at a planned July 25, 2012 Committee on Natural Resources (“Committee”) hearing regarding the Obama Administration’s decision imposing a Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium and the drafting and editing of the May 27, 2010 report entitled, “Increased Safety Measures for Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (“Drilling Moratorium Report”), which misrepresented that independent engineers had peer reviewed and supported the moratorium when they did not.

This hearing was scheduled only after the Department refused repeated requests to make you and other officials available for on-the-record interviews with the Committee’s majority oversight staff and to comply with a duly authorized and issued subpoena to Secretary Salazar for documents.

Unfortunately, that hearing was postponed less than 20 hours prior to the scheduled start after all five witnesses and the Department refused to confirm attendance after multiple requests to do so. As a result of the refusal to arrange transcribed interviews or confirm attendance at the hearing, the Committee voted, 26-17, on August 1, 2012 to authorize the issuance of subpoenas to compel your attendance at a future hearing. Since the Committee’s vote to approve subpoena authority, Department officials have indicated in writing and in conversations with the Committee’s majority staff that Secretary Salazar has committed to having you appear voluntarily at a rescheduled hearing.

Accordingly, it is requested that you personally confirm in writing, by close of business on September 4, 2012, your intention to appear voluntarily at an oversight hearing of the full Committee entitled, “Committee Oversight of Department of the Interior: Questioning Key Department Officials,” scheduled for 10 am, Thursday, September 13, 2012, in room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building. Failure to provide the requested confirmation by the September 4 deadline is likely to prompt the issuance of a subpoena to compel your cooperation and attendance at this hearing.

Read the entire invitation letter HERE.