In The News

01.12.21

Deflect and obstruct: How Interior ducked House oversight

by Emma Dumain and Corbin Hiar

When Scott Angelle, an oil drilling advocate-turned-industry regulator, finished a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee last March, lawmakers had some follow-up questions for him - a standard part of the congressional oversight process. The Interior Department's response to the inquiries, however, was anything but routine. It took nearly nine months for the department to address committee members' requests for more information about the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforc… Continue Reading


12.23.20

Omnibus Includes Historic Water Rights Settlement

by Kylie Mohr

A Montana tribe is having a "once in a lifetime moment" after a water compact with the federal government passed Monday night, tucked inside the massive spending and pandemic aid package. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of Montana (CSKT) compact, amounting to $1.9 billion, is the largest tribal water rights settlement in history by total federal cost. The year-end package also advanced other tribal water rights settlements, including for the Pueblos of Nambé, Pojoaque, Tesuq… Continue Reading


12.08.20

12.07.20 Letter to FOMB re PR Renewable Energy


12.06.20

Meet Deb Haaland, a potential historic Biden pick for Interior secretary. She'd be the first Native American to hold the job.

Several names are floating around for Joe Biden's possible nominee for Interior secretary, but in recent weeks Rep. Deb Haaland's name has risen above the din. The New Mexico Democrat could become the first Native American to lead the Interior Department. She has lawmakers, tribal leaders, progressive groups, and even Mark Ruffalo backing her for the job. Haaland made history in 2018 as one of the first Native American women to be elected to Congress along with Sharice Davids, a Democrat from … Continue Reading


05.29.20

Probe: Top US official misused office to get son-in-law job

by Matthew Brown

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - A senior Trump administration official misused his office for private gain by capitalizing on his government connections to help get his son-in-law hired at the Environmental Protection Agency, investigators said in a report obtained by The Associated Press. The Interior Department's Inspector General found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and later by email in 2017 to advocate for the son-in-law when he was… Continue Reading


04.30.20

Graduating from conference calls, House panels livestream committee work

by Brian Dabbs, Casey Wooten and Zach C. Cohen

Democratic committee leaders aren't waiting for formal rule changes to move online in the coronavirus-lockdown era. The House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Raul Grijalva, is sponsoring a series of Facebook livestreamed remote roundtables featuring Democratic members and handpicked witnesses, setting the stage for the lower chamber to follow suit. "We're not [Energy and Commerce]. We're not Ways and Means. We're not the committees that are intimate in all the discussions that are… Continue Reading


03.27.20

Congress Needs to Put More Effort Into Protecting Territories

by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-CNMI)

U.S. territories, where health infrastructure is weaker than most mainland facilities and local governments are facing serious financial challenges, have already reported several COVID-19 fatalities and dozens of cases. Government officials and residents of the territories are justifiably worried that an inadequate federal pandemic response will lead to preventable loss of life on a scale that - because of recent disasters - they've unfortunately already seen in the recent past. As leaders of t… Continue Reading


03.27.20

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wins a Victory in Dakota Access Pipeline Case

by Lisa Friedman

WASHINGTON - In a significant victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, a federal judge on Wednesday ordered a sweeping new environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline, which runs from North Dakota to Illinois, has been carrying oil for nearly three years and has been contested by environmental groups and Native American tribes who live near it. President Trump sought to keep the project alive. The ruling by United States District Judge James E. Boasberg found that the pi… Continue Reading


03.22.20

Coronavirus Hits Native American Groups Already Struggling With Poor Health Care

by Dan Frosch and Christopher Weaver

The new coronavirus has found its way to Chilchinbeto, Ariz., a remote Navajo hamlet of about500 in the high desert, a sign of the startling reach of infections in the U.S., and a worrisomeharbinger for all Native American communities. As tribal leaders around the country gear up for the pandemic's arrival, they worry the federalagencies that are supposed to help protect them aren't ready. The federal Indian Health Serviceis already facing major shortages, and the Centers for Disease Control an… Continue Reading


02.20.20

The Environmental Battle Over the Mexican Border Wall

by Timothy Puko

SONORAN DESERT, Ariz.-As President Trump pushes to speed construction of the Mexican border wall, both opponents of the wall and his administration are invoking the environment-one side to stop the barrier, and the other to build it. Environmental groups say an impassable 30-foot-high wall would prevent endangered pronghorn, wolves, wildcats and other animals from roaming the borderlands for food, water and mates, while also destroying native plants and other threatened species in parks and wil… Continue Reading


02.11.20

Trump faces backlash for indigenous burial sites allegedly being demolished for border wall

by Chantal Da Silva

D emocratic lawmakers have accused the Trump administration of blowing up indigenous burial sites at Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument for the sake of President Donald Trump's border wall. Last week, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency confirmed to Newsweek that a construction contractor had begun "controlled blasting" in preparation for a new border wall system construction within the Roosevelt Reservation at Monument Mountain in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector. … Continue Reading


02.11.20

Native American burial grounds threatened by blasts for border wall construction, Arizona congressman says

by Catherine E. Shoichet and Gregory Lemos

Construction crews blowing up parts of a national monument to make way for the border wall could be on the verge of destroying sacred burial sites, an Arizona congressman who represents the area told CNN. But Rep. Raúl Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat, said he's still hoping the crews will change course before it's too late. "You can't replace these things. You can't fix them once they're gone," Grijalva said. "And as someone that grew up in the borderlands, it's painful to know that thi… Continue Reading


02.11.20

Blasting in Construction of Border Wall Is Affecting Tribal Areas

by Christine Hauser

One site disturbed by the construction, which is taking place in a UNESCO ecological preserve, is a resting place for Apache warriors. Blasting operations for construction of President Trump's border wall in Arizona have begun to disrupt a UNESCO ecological preserve that encompasses Native American ancestral lands and burial grounds. Construction crews have been blasting at Monument Hill, a resting place for primarily Apache warriors, and bulldozing at Quitobaquito Springs, a pilgrimage site, … Continue Reading


02.10.20

Native burial sites blown up for US border wall

Native American burial sites have been blown up by construction crews building the US-Mexico border wall, says a lawmaker and tribal leaders. Authorities confirmed that "controlled blasting" has begun at Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a Unesco recognised natural reserve. Raul Grijalva, a Democratic congressman, called the destruction "sacrilegious". The government failed to consult the Tohono O'odham Nation, he said. Environmental groups also warn of the damage being done to … Continue Reading


02.09.20

Sacred Native American burial sites are being blown up for Trump's border wall, lawmaker says

by Paulina Firozi

Construction crews began blasting sites within Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument as part of the construction of President Trump's border barrier, and the affected areas include sites sacred to Native American groups, according to a congressman from Arizona and advocates. The Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is an internationally recognized biosphere reserve - meaning it has plants and animals so rare that the United Nations has given it a special designation. It includes abou… Continue Reading


02.07.20

Arizona national monument, home to sacred Native American burial sites, is being blown up for the border wall

by Audrey McNamara

A national monument in Arizona, home to rare species and sacred Native American burial sites, is being blown up this week as part of construction for President Trump's border wall, Customs and Border Protection confirmed to CBS News. "Controlled blasting" inside Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument began this week without consultation from the Native American nation whose ancestral land it affects, according to the congressman whose district includes the reservation. "There has be… Continue Reading


12.11.19

Study shows growing ocean damage as protection bills languish

by Elvina Nawaguna

As lawmakers push legislation to protect the nation's coastal waters, scientists are placingmuch of the blame for degrading ocean conditions on emissions from large energycompanies including ExxonMobil Corp., which was cleared Tuesday in a long-runningclimate court case. A study published Wednesday in the scientific journal Environmental Research Lettersfound that carbon emissions from the largest energy and cement companies are responsiblefor more than half of a damaging side effect: increasin… Continue Reading


11.19.19

Beyond coal and oil: Wyoming faces crisis

by Heather Richards

With its coal sector crumbling, Wyoming is leaning heavily on its oil industry to make up the difference. But experts are signaling that the boom times are truly over for Wyoming's fossil fuel-dependent economy, and some politicians are taking note. Though largely off the national radar, the nation's least populous state is ground zero for a rapidly evolving energy transition its politically conservative leaders don't really want, driven by markets out of their control. This is an era of clima… Continue Reading


11.08.19

'The focus has shifted': Environmental justice takes the spotlight

by Zack Colman

Small, local groups pushing environmental justice issues are getting new attention from Washington lawmakers and major green groups - as well as Democratic presidential hopefuls who are eager to harness their grassroots activism. Problems, like lead contamination in Flint, Mich., that affect low-income and minority communities can attract national attention, but the threats facing those communities from climate-related disasters are now mobilizing politicians and large environmental organizatio… Continue Reading


11.01.19

The Fight to Save Chaco Canyon

by Nick Martin

On Wednesday, the House voted to pass the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act, which would permanently ban any drilling or mining within a ten-mile radius of Chaco Canyon. The canyon is a historic and sacred site in New Mexico for the Pueblo nations and the Diné (Navajo Nation). It currently exists as a checkerboard of federally protected and unprotected lands. Protecting Chaco-despite the show of support from the House-will be a fight. The bill still has to survive a Republican-… Continue Reading

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