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Chairmen Hastings and Lamborn Letter to Secretary Salazar Requesting Information and Documents Pertaining to the 6-month Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2011 -

Dear Secretary Salazar:

On July 20, 2010, we requested the Office of Inspector General to conduct an investigation into whether senior officials of the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), in an effort to help justify their decision to impose a 6-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, misrepresented that the moratorium was reviewed and supported by a group of scientists and industry experts. In a brief 8-page report, issued on November 8, 2010, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) concluded that although the White House edited the original DOI draft Executive Summary leading to the "implication" that the moratorium recommendation had been peer reviewed by experts, the OIG's report nonetheless stated that it was not the intention of DOI officials to create that "implication." The OIG's report neither attaches nor provides detailed excerpts of draft documents or communications that would allow this Committee and the public to reach an independent conclusion based on the documents versus credibility determinations - of DOI officials interviewed - that were made by the OIG.

Because the OIG's report inadequately discusses the actual documents, drafts and communications surrounding this important issue and lacks transparency overall, the Committee requests the underlying documents, drafts and communications reviewed by the OIG in reaching its conclusion and issuing its Report of Investigation - Federal Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling Case No. PI-PI-IO-0562-I. Accordingly, we request the following items:

Read the entire letter HERE.

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