Livestreams Next Week: Forum on Impacts of Climate Change in the Arctic on Monday, Hearing on Interior’s Oil and Gas Royalty Cuts on Tuesday
Washington, D.C. – The Natural Resources Committee is holding two livestreamed events next week.
Monday, Oct. 5
On Monday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and the Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, led by Chairs Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) and Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), respectively, will hold a Democratic forum titled The Melting Arctic: Climate Change Impacts on People and Wildlife. The event will focus on the human and environmental impacts of climate change in the Arctic, which the Trump administration continues to ignore while single-mindedly pushing an energy and mineral extraction agenda for the far north.
To coincide with the forum, the Natural Resources Committee majority will release a report titled The Melting Arctic: Climate Impacts on People and Wildlife.
Among many other dangerous decisions made in the Trump era, Congressional Republicans in 2017 attached a provision to the unrelated and inaccurately named Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that opened the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development. The Trump administration has moved at breakneck speed to try to make the first lease sale happen in advance of the four-year deadline in the Act, with reports that career scientists are being silenced or overridden as part of a process that has been described as “off the rails.” The forum will examine the administrative pressure being put on career experts and the impacts of the administration’s “energy dominance” strategy in this sensitive region.
Monday’s speakers include:
- Mary David, Executive Vice President, Kawerak, Inc.
- Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, Resident, Native Village of Nuiqsut
- Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director, Gwich’in Steering Committee
- Maka Monture Paki, Programs and Movement Building Associate, Alaska Conservation Foundation
- Joel Clement, Arctic Initiative Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
When: 2:00 p.m. Eastern time
Tuesday, Oct. 6
On Tuesday, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a hearing titled Interior’s Royalty Cuts: Thoughtful Policy or Industry Giveaway? The hearing will focus on the public costs and lack of public benefits of the royalty cuts the Trump administration has offered oil and gas drillers and mining corporations operating on public lands during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under federal law, the Interior Department can only reduce royalties when doing so would best serve national interests. The Trump administration has ignored this requirement and given generous, unnecessary handouts to fossil fuel allies. Across the west, the Bureau of Land Management has issued hundreds of royalty cuts covering thousands of acres of public land that will ultimately deprive taxpayers of millions of dollars that would go towards funding infrastructure, education, and other priorities.
At the request of Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reviewed royalty relief applications and approvals, interviewed BLM officials in western state offices, and interviewed Department of the Interior officials in Washington, D.C., over the last several months to better understand the administration’s royalty policies. GAO will present the findings of their review at Tuesday’s hearing.
Tuesday’s witnesses include:
- Frank Rusco, Director, Natural Resources and Environment Team, U.S. Government Accountability Office
- Prof. Mark Squillace. Raphael J. Moses Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
- Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director, Western Values Project
The Republican minority has not yet identified a witness, and the Bureau of Land Management rejected an invitation to send a representative to testify.
When: 2:00 p.m. Eastern time
Media Contact: Adam Sarvana
(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile
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