Subpoena Issued to Department of the Interior Deputy Inspector General for Unredacted Report on Stream Buffer Zone Rule


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 25, 2014 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) today issued a subpoena to Department of the Interior Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall for an unredacted copy of the Office of Inspector General (IG) report on the Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement’s (OSM) efforts to rewrite the 2008 Stream Buffer Zone Rule and a small number of related OIG documents.

The House Committee on Natural Resources has made multiple requests for the unredacted copy of the report and related documents. According to Deputy Inspector General Kendall, the unredacted report is being withheld from the Committee at the request of the Department of the Interior. One of the redacted sections is entitled “Issues with the New Contract.” This means that the OIG has identified significant on-going problems with the rulemaking that they are refusing to disclose to Congress.

“The IG is charged with being an independent watchdog for Congress. It’s completely unacceptable and inappropriate for the IG to be taking orders from the Department, especially about what information to withhold from Congress. That’s why today I have issued a subpoena to the Deputy Inspector General Kendall for this information,” said Chairman Hastings today on the House floor. “If the IG discovered on-going issues with the way the Department is currently conducting this rulemaking process, they have a responsibility and duty to share that information with Congress now. The Committee is not asking the IG for materials produced by the Department, but we are asking for materials and interviews produced by the IG’s staff.”

Today, the House is considering H.R. 2824, the Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America Act. This legislation will protect jobs, affordable energy, and taxpayer dollars by putting an end to the Obama Administration’s wasteful and mismanaged rulemaking process, and put a responsible process in place to ensure there is no rush to recklessly regulate.

Click here to watch Chairman Hastings’ full floor statement.

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