Press Releases


Chair Grijalva Hails Reestablishment of Interagency Working Group on Puerto Rico -- Calls for Mandate to Consult on Financial Recovery, Political Status

Washington, D.C. - Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the news that the White House has reactivated the federal Interagency Working Group on Puerto Rico. "The Biden administration has committed to resolving the serious issues affecting the territory and its residents, and I sincerely commend them for this decision," Grijalva said. "I look forward to supporting the Task Force's work, and I encourage the Biden administration to … Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Urges Secs. of Interior and Agriculture, Agency Chiefs to Protect Texas Public Lands From Governor’s Attempted Border Wall Construction

Washington, D.C. - In a letter sent this morning, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) urges senior federal land management officials to protect federal public lands in Texas from the impacts of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's proposed construction of new sections of wall, using state taxpayer money and private donations, along the U.S.-Mexico border. In his letter, Grijalva draws attention to the two national parks and dozens of other federally protected sites in Texas within 100 miles of the borde… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Hails Federal Reversal of Unjustified Permit for Vigneto Development in Southern Arizona – Project Has Ties to Trump Interior Sec. Bernhardt

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today hailed the Army Corps of Engineers suspension of a permit for the controversial Villages at Vigneto property development proposal in Southern Arizona, where former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was reportedly involved in pressuring federal officials to advance the project despite environmental concerns. Grijalva asked the Trump administration for documents to clarify the issue in July 2019 after a whistleblower came forward al… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Reps. Neguse and Porter Hail Biden Admin Guarantee of $15 an Hour for Wildland Firefighters – Move Follows April 29 Hearing

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Reps. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), chair of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, and Katie Porter (D-Calif.), chair of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, hailed the announcement today that President Biden will guarantee wildland firefighters are paid at least $15 per hour this year. Biden announced that his administration will also provide other incentives, including retention bonus of up to 10 perce… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Praises Department of Education for Releasing $4 Billion in Education for Puerto Rico After Pressuring Previous Administration for Months

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today praised the Department of Education for releasing nearly $4 billion in funds for Puerto Rico's schools, a move announced as part of Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona's visit to the island this week. The announcement comes after Grijalva and Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) of the House Committee on Education and Labor sent a letter on July 16, 2020, to former Secretary Betsy DeVos demanding an explanation for why the Department had… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Rep. DeGette: Tightening Methane Emissions Through the EPA Makes Sense, and It’s Time to Do the Same for Our Public Lands

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said today that the House of Representatives is right to tighten Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards for methane, as it is expected to do with the forthcoming Congressional Review Act vote, and that Congress should similarly tighten the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) methane standard for fossil fuel drillers on public lands. BLM is charged with guaranteeing public value in the use… Continue Reading


In New Letter, Chair Grijalva and Congressional Dems Support Biden Conservation Efforts, Urge Stronger “America The Beautiful” to Fight Climate Change

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) led a letter with 17 House Democratic colleagues today to President Joe Biden in support of the administration's climate-focused America the Beautiful Initiative and to offer suggestions to strengthen the program. The full letter is available online at The lawmakers offer full support for the new direction laid out in the administration's America the Beautiful initiative to fight the climate crisis by restorin… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: Ruling That Biden Admin Must Hold New Oil and Gas Lease Sales is Wrong – We Need to Update Laws to Prevent Further Misinterpretation

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said today that the new ruling from Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana blocking the Department of the Interior from pausing oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters is simultaneously wrong on the legal merits and a sign of why federal leasing laws need to be updated to remove any possibility of future misinterpretations. "Republicans tempted to crow about today's ruling should exp… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Releases DOJ Analysis of Puerto Rico Political Status Bills, Witness List for This Wednesday’s Full Committee Legislative Hearing

This release has been updated from the original version to correct witness positions on bills under discussion. Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) this morning released a long-awaited Department of Justice (DOJ) analysis of the constitutionality and feasibility of two political status bills for Puerto Rico. Grijalva also released the witness list for this Wednesday's legislative hearing on both bills. One bill, the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act (H.R. 2070) sponsore… Continue Reading


Grijalva Welcomes News of Keystone Pipeline Termination, Thanks Native American and Environmental Activists Who Fought Dangerous Pipeline for Years

Washington, D.C. - Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement following the news that TC Energy, the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL Pipeline, will terminate the project. "The rushed approval of the Keystone Pipeline by the previous administration was a terrible idea," Chair Grijalva said. "I'm grateful for the tireless efforts of Native American communities, environmental justice groups and advocates that fought this dangerous… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Senator Wyden: Interior Department Inspector General’s Review of Lafayette Square Crackdown Lacks Clarity, Leaves Unanswered Questions

Washington, D.C. - House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) today said the new Department of the Interior inspector general report on the violent crackdown against peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, lacks clear explanations for the key issues surrounding the event, including how and why law enforcement officers were authorized to use violent tactics, and leaves unanswered questions that will have to be address… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Announces June 16 Hearing on Puerto Rico Political Status Bills – Hearing Follows April 14 Panel Assessing Two Bills to Resolve the Issue

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today announced a June 16 hearing on legislation focused on Puerto Rico's political status. The hearing follows the April 14 panel the full Committee held to examine two bills to resolve the issue. The hearing will more deeply examine the implications of passing each of the bills. One, 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… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Introduces Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act – New Version Creates Virgin Plastic Fee, Includes More Than 1,600 Stakeholder Comments

This release has been updated from its original version to include a statement of support from Oceana. Washington, D.C. - In honor of World Oceans Day, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today introduced the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, an updated version of a bill he initially offered in the previous Congress to modernize federal ocean management policy to account for climate change. The bill limits climate impacts on marine habitats, promotes carbon sinks in federal waters, advance… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: We Need a Permanent Fix for U.S. Territories’ Access to Federal Benefits, and I’m Going to Work With Colleagues to Pass One

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on the need for a legislative solution to the unequal access to federal benefits for U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals living in the insular territories. "Given the administration's announcement today that it will appeal U.S. v. Vaello Madero to the Supreme Court, the Natural Resources Committee will redouble its efforts to work with other committees of jurisdiction to expand access to Supplemental … Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Hails Biden Admin Moves to Restore Endangered Species Act Rules, Urges Further Action on Biodiversity Protection Based on Climate Threats

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today hailed the Biden administration's announcement that it will correct and update five regulations pertaining to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) weakened during the Trump era to help polluters. Grijalva urged the administration to continue updating federal standards for protecting biodiversity with the full knowledge that climate change is advancing and time for meaningful action is short. The administration announced today that the… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Praises Biden Admin’s Suspension of Unjustified, Potentially Illegal Oil and Gas Leases in Arctic Refuge – “The Push to Drill Became a Scam”

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today praised the Biden administration's decision to suspend the oil and gas leases issued in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge), which was opened to drilling by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The news was first reported by Politico this afternoon. The Trump administration sold and issued the leases on a needlessly rapid schedule, without adequate review of public input or environmental impacts, and those leases are now be… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Introduces RESPECT Act to Establish and Require Government-to-Government Consultation Between Federal Agencies, Tribal Leaders

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today introduced the Requirements, Expectations, and Standard Procedures for Effective Consultation with Tribes (RESPECT) Act, which codifies for the first time a requirement that federal agencies consult with tribal governments before taking or permitting actions that would significantly impact them. The bill is endorsed by numerous tribal leadership organizations and comes as Congress considers a range of environmental, economic and p… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Questions Biden Admin Backing for Major Alaska Oil Drilling Project – Calls for Careful Review, Genuine Public Input Process

Washington D.C. - Natural Resources Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement on the Biden administration's decision to defend in court ConocoPhillips' Willow Master Development Plan in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska. "The Biden administration's decision to back ConocoPhillips' massive oil and gas project in Alaska needs to be coupled with a careful review of the environmental impacts this project will have on Native American communities and on air, wate… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Leads Letter to Senate Urging Prompt Approval of House-Passed Bill to Protect U.S. Wilderness and Public Lands, Lessen Climate Impacts

Washington D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today led a letter with 19 House Democratic colleagues to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urging them to advance the House-approved Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act to President Biden's desk for his signature. The bill, which passed the House on Feb. 26 with bipartisan support, protects millions of acres of land across the country from development and supports t… Continue Reading


Nat. Resources Committee Releases Explainer, Firsthand Constituent Stories on Harmful Effects of Insular Cases Rulings & Territorial Incorporation Doctrine

Washington, D.C. - Ahead of an expected landmark Supreme Court ruling this fall, the Natural Resources Committee today published an overview of the legal and economic damage done to generations of American citizens and American nationals living in the U.S. territories by the legal legacy of the Insular Cases rulings and broad legal reliance on the so-called territorial incorporation doctrine. The overview, available online at, includes firsthand stories from Natural Resour… Continue Reading

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