Livestreams Next Week: Natl. Heritage Areas, Coal Cleanup on Tuesday, Puerto Rico Political Status on Wed., Indian Country Infrastructure on Thursday
Washington, D.C. – The Natural Resources Committee is holding four livestreamed events next week.
Tuesday, June 15
Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources
The Subcommittee, led by Chair Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), will hold a hearing titled Environmental Justice for Coal Country: Supporting Communities Through the Energy Transition. The hearing will focus on the economic and environmental needs of communities previously focused on coal mining – from Appalachia to Wyoming to western Native American tribes – who are now seeking federal assistance during the country’s ongoing energy transition.
Without stronger financial safeguards in place, coal companies will continue to declare bankruptcy, shed healthcare, pension and environmental cleanup responsibilities, and further damage communities already hurt by the transition to cleaner energy sources. Current Department of the Interior (DOI) regulations are not sufficiently managing the collapse of the coal industry in a way that promotes environmental justice, protects workers and creates long-term economic development opportunities.
Members and witnesses at the hearing will discuss the need for targeted reforms at DOI’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to better manage the energy transition in a way that creates a sustainable and equitable energy future for coal communities across the country.
- Joe Pizarchik
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement
- Mary Cromer
Appalachian Citizens Law Center
- Nicole Horseherder
To’ Nizhoni Ani’
- Ben Nuvamsa
President, KIVA Institute
Former Chairman, Hopi Tribe
- Kyle Wendtland
Administrator, Land Quality Division
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (Minority Witness)
- Rickie Nez
Chairman, Resources and Development Committee
Navajo Nation Council (Minority Witness)
When: 10:00 a.m. Eastern time
Watch Live: https://youtu.be/KS0NCkfFsQo
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
The Subcommittee, led by Chair Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), will hold a legislative hearing on the following bills:
- H.R. 1154 (Rep. A. Donald McEachin), To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain land as the Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area Act.
- H.R. 1286 (Rep. James Clyburn), To establish in the States of North Carolina and South Carolina the Southern Campaign of the Revolution National Heritage Corridor, and for other purposes. Southern Campaign of the Revolution National Heritage Corridor Act of 2021.
- H.R. 1316 (Rep. Paul Tonko), To authorize a National Heritage Area Program, and for other purposes. National Heritage Area Act of 2021.
- H.R. 1424 (Rep. Stacey Plaskett), To establish the St. Croix National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. St. Croix National Heritage Area Act.
- H.R. 1908 (Rep. Ed Case), To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain land as the Ka'ena Point National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. Ka‘ena Point National Heritage Area Act.
- H.R. 1925 (Rep. Kaiali?i Kahele), To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain land as the South Kona National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. South Kona National Heritage Area.
- H.R. 2024 (Rep. Steny Hoyer), To establish the Southern Maryland National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. Southern Maryland National Heritage Area Act.
- H.R. 2107 (Rep. John Rutherford), To establish the Nation's Oldest Port National Heritage Area in the State of Florida, and for other purposes. Nation’s Oldest Port National Heritage Area Act.
- H.R. 2359 (Rep. Henry Cuellar), To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain lands as the Los Caminos del Rio National Heritage Corridor, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 2899 (Rep. Michael F. Q. San Nicolas), To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating areas within the island of Guam as a National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
- H.R. 3222 (Rep. Terri Sewell), To establish the Alabama Black Belt National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. Alabama Black Belt National Heritage Area Act.
- H.R. 3616 (Rep. Blake Moore), To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of designating certain land as the Bear River National Heritage Area, and for other purposes. Bear River National Heritage Area Study Act.
Panel I: Congressional Panel
- Rep. James E. Clyburn (H.R. 1286)
- Del. Stacey Plaskett (H.R. 1424)
- Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele (H.R. 1925)
- Rep. Henry Cuellar (H.R. 2359)
- Del. Michael F. Q. San Nicolas (H.R. 2899)
- Rep. Terri Sewell (H.R. 3222)
- Additional Members TBA
Panel II: Administration Panel
- Joy Beasley
Associate Director of Cultural Resources, Partnerships, and Science
National Park Service (All Bills)
Panel III: Expert Witness Panel
- Dr. Alexa Sutton Lawrence
Great Dismal Swamp Stakeholder Collaborative (H.R. 1154)
- Douglas Bostick
South Carolina Battlefield Preservation Trust (H.R. 1286)
- Sara Capen
Alliance of National Heritage Areas; Executive Director, Niagara Falls National Heritage Area (H.R. 1316)
- Suzanne D. Case
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (H.R.1908)
- Wendy J. Laros
President & CEO
Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (H.R. 1925)
- Lucille W. Walker
Southern Maryland Heritage Area, Destination Southern Maryland (H.R. 2024)
- Kathy Fleming
St. Augustine Lighthouse and maritime Museum (H.R. 2107)
- Christopher Rincon
The River Pierce Foundation (H.R. 2359)
- Joseph E. Quinata
Chief Program Officer
Guam Preservation Trust (H.R. 2899)
- Emily Jones
Southeast Regional Director
National Parks Conservation Association (H.R. 3222)
- Brian Carver
Community and Economic Development Director
Bear River Association of Governments (H.R. 3616)
When: 1:00 p.m. Eastern time
Watch Live: https://youtu.be/MB1niojlTqE
Wednesday, June 16
Full Committee (Office of Insular Affairs)
The full Committee, led by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), will hold its second legislative hearing of the 117th Congress on two bills to determine the future of Puerto Rico’s political status. The hearing follows the April 14 panel the Committee held to examine the implications of passing each of the bills.
One bill, sponsored by Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), would “recognize the right of the People of Puerto Rico to call a status convention through which the people would exercise their natural right to self-determination, and to establish a mechanism for congressional consideration of such decision.” The other, sponsored by Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-P.R.), would “provide for the admission of the State of Puerto Rico into the Union.”
Grijalva intended to hold the hearing after the Department of Justice released its formal analysis of both bills’ constitutionality and consistency with fundamental U.S. laws. That analysis, which has yet to be issued, will inform members at the hearing should it be publicized before June 16.
When: 1:00 p.m. Eastern time
Watch Live: https://youtu.be/0d4uVp4rEu8
Thursday, June 17
The Subcommittee, led by Chair Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.), will hold an oversight hearing titled Examining Federal Facilities in Indian Country to review the physical consequences of congressional underfunding for federally managed buildings in tribal communities. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Indian Health Service (IHS), and Bureau of Indian Education all face congressionally imposed funding shortfalls and have been unable to keep buildings up to code, leading to crumbling schools, clinics, law enforcement facilities and other infrastructure across the country.
One of many recent examples of the toll this takes on tribal governments occurred when BIA condemned its law enforcement center on the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians reservation in 2011. BIA informed the tribal government that it could not replace the structure due to a lack of construction funds. As a result, to ensure continuity of tribal law enforcement operations, Red Lake was forced to borrow $5 million to rebuild the center completely. In 2019, a similar instance occurred with Red Lake’s BIA-operated fire halls, where Red Lake took out a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan to replace the dilapidated structures without any assistance from BIA.
The average age of the nation’s 26 IHS hospitals is 40 years. At the current rate of funding, if a new IHS facility were built today, it would not be replaced for an additional 400 years.
The hearing comes as Congress considers how best to rebuild the economy and federal facilities through the American Jobs Plan.
Panel I (Administration Panel)
- Randy Grinnell
Deputy Director for Management Operations
Indian Health Service
- Jason Freihage
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior
Panel II (Tribal Nations Panel)
- The Hon. David Hill
Principal Chief, Muscogee Creek Nation
- The Hon. Ned Norris, Jr.
Chairman, Tohono O’odham Nation
- The Hon. Timothy Nuvangyaoma
Chairman, Hopi Tribe
- The Hon. Victoria Kitcheyan
Chairwoman, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska (Minority Witness)
When: 12:00 p.m. Eastern time
Watch Live: https://youtu.be/IWlBJS2mbtM
Media Contact: Adam Sarvana
(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile
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