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Committee Approves Motion Giving Chairman Authority to Issue Subpoenas on Two Oversight Investigations Impacting American Jobs and Energy Production


WASHINGTON, D.C., March 28, 2012 - Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved a motion (23-17) to provide the Chairman with authority to issue subpoenas related to two ongoing oversight investigations: 1) regarding the Secretary of the Interior’s decision and the process to rewrite a coal production regulation; and 2) regarding a Department of the Interior report that implied that peer reviewers from the National Academy of Engineers had endorsed an offshore oil and natural gas drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico.

“This Committee has patiently and diligently tried for over a year to seek compliance from the Interior Department on our document requests. The Administration has proven it is unwilling to cooperate and is actively preventing this Committee from carrying out its oversight authority. Therefore, we have been left with no other choice but to move forward with subpoenas,” said Chairman Hastings. “The economic stakes are very high. Thousands of American jobs and American energy production have been or will be impacted by these Obama Administration policies. Serious questions remain regarding the Administration’s actions and I hope the ability to issue subpoenas will shed light on how and why decisions were made.”

These investigations have been conducted for over a year and specific document requests have been made to the Department of the Interior and other federal agencies. Despite promises from President Obama of unprecedented transparency, the Department has failed to fully comply with a single deadline and continues to withhold the vast majority of requested material.

Further specific details on each of the oversight investigations and exchanges of letters with the Administration are publically accessible at http://naturalresources.house.gov/oversight.

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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