Press Releases

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In New Letter, Chair Grijalva Pushes Bernhardt for Written Explanations of Administration’s Shifting Narrative Around Violent Lafayette Square Crackdown

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today sent Interior Secretary David Bernhardt a letter asking for documents and interviews to explain the administration's violent June 1 law enforcement crackdown at Lafayette Square against peaceful civil rights protesters. The letter, available at, highlights inconsistent and evasive testimony from Acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan at the Committee's July 28 hearing and the administration's consisten… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Ranking Member Bishop Highlight New GAO Report They Requested on Deficiencies in Federal Oversight of Human Rights Abuses

Washington, D.C. - House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-Utah) today highlighted a newly released Government Accountability Office (GAO) report they had requested demonstrating more safeguards need to be put in place to ensure taxpayer money does not support human rights abuses by park rangers overseas. The GAO report, Combatting Wildlife Trafficking: Agencies Work to Address Human Rights Abuse Allegations in Overseas Conserva… Continue Reading


As Trump’s Interior Department Tries Unsuccessfully to Spin Ethics Record, Natural Resources Committee Highlights Three-Plus Years of Scandals

Washington, D.C. - The House Natural Resources Committee majority released a new review of the Trump Interior Department's history of scandals, conflicts of interest, formal investigations and ethical lapses today in a Medium post underlining Secretary David Bernhardt's complete failure to control the sometimes illegal behavior of his subordinates. The review comes after the Interior Department attempted to brag in a press release earlier this week about the strength of its ethics training. The… Continue Reading


Wyden and Grijalva on New Interior Inspector General Report: Officials “Orchestrated A Cover-up To Protect Secretary Bernhardt During His Confirmation”

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), today called for a criminal investigation into Interior Solicitor General Daniel Jorjani after a new report from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) confirmed that DOI political appointees may have violated a court order by withholding documents to protect Secretary David Bernhardt during his confirmation process. The IG's findings further clarify t… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Ranking Member Cantwell Urge Trump Administration to Stop Obstructing Release of “Sharpiegate” Report

Washington D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Senate Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who lead the committees of jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), wrote to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross demanding that the Trump administration stop interfering with the Department of Commerce Inspector General's (IG) "Sharpiegate" investigation that was scheduled to be released last week. The report evaluates the alleged political interference i… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva: Interior Secretary Bernhardt Should Fire Assistant Secretary Domenech After Second Watchdog Finding of Wrongdoing in Six Months

This press release has been updated from its original version. Mr. Domenech used tickets from Secretary Zinke, not Secretary Bernhardt, to hold his initial meeting with a senior EPA official. Tucson, Ariz. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) called on Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to fire Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech after the release of a new Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report finding that Domenech im… Continue Reading


New GAO Report Shows Oil and Gas Industry Sitting on Almost 10,000 Unused Drilling Permits, Undermining Push for New Favors From Trump

Washington, D.C. - A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) finds that oil and gas companies were sitting on 9,950 unused permits to drill as of the end of fiscal year 2019. The report finds that the Trump administration's "energy dominance" push to grant the industry more permits - even those that drilling corporations have no intention of using in the near future - has paralyzed the Bureau of Lan… Continue Reading


On 10-Year Anniversary of BP Oil Spill, Chair Grijalva Issues Report Highlighting Costs of Trump Admin Deregulation, Potentially Unethical Behavior

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today released a report looking at the Trump administration's regulatory failures and rollbacks in light of the 10-year anniversary of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Among other findings, the report - available at - highlights the financial, environmental, and worker safety standards the Trump administration has weakened on behalf of offshore oil drillers, despite expert advice, and reveals potent… Continue Reading


GAO Contradicts Trump Admin on Forced BLM Move – Finds Interior Officials Failed to Follow Basic Practices, Resulting in Damaging Staff Attrition

Washington, D.C. - The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released a highly anticipated report finding that the Trump administration's attempt to move Washington, D.C.-based Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees to Grand Junction, Colo., and elsewhere across the West failed to follow a number of widely accepted best practices for agency reform and has already resulted in a damaging level of staff attrition. Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said the findings confirm widesprea… Continue Reading


Hearing This Wednesday Will Focus on Interior Department Budget Request, Severe Costs of Admin Attacks on Agency Missions and Professional Staff

Washington, D.C. - The House Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, March 4, examining the Interior Department's budget request for fiscal year 2021 and assess the impacts of the Trump administration's ongoing attacks on agency missions and career staff morale. The administration witness will be Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Susan Combs. The hearing comes shortly after the Trump administration - without adequately consu… Continue Reading


Natural Resources Committee Approves Resolution Authorizing Chair to Issue Subpoenas, Bills to Increase Access to Clean Water

Washington D.C. - The House Natural Resources Committee today voted to grant Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) the authority to issue subpoenas, and approved several water and energy bills. "This Committee, regardless of who is in power, cannot be an inconvenience to whatever administration happens to be in power," Chair Grijalva said. "And we have never confronted an administration like the Trump administration that sees the role of this branch of government as irrelevant and inconvenien… Continue Reading


Committee Markup on Subpoena Authority Rescheduled to Feb. 12 Due to National Prayer Breakfast

Washington, D.C. - The Committee on Natural Resources markup previously scheduled for Feb. 6, where the Committee was set to vote on granting Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) subpoena authority, has been moved to the morning of Feb. 12 due to the National Prayer Breakfast. Natural Resources is one of only a few committees in the House not to grant the chair such authority automatically at the beginning of each Congress. The Committee held a hearing in September 2019 specifically on the T… Continue Reading


Committee Holding Markup This Thursday to Vote on Chair Grijalva’s Authority to Issue Subpoenas

Washington, D.C. - The Committee on Natural Resources will hold a markup at 9:00 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Feb. 6, on a resolution to grant Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) the authority to issue subpoenas. Natural Resources is one of only a few committees in the House not to grant the chair such authority automatically at the beginning of each Congress. Chair Grijalva and Democrats on the Committee have sent 25 formal requests to the Department of the Interior for information. Onl… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Rejects Bernhardt Offer to “Discuss” BLM Relocation, Presses Standing Demand for Cost-Benefit Analysis and Other Documents

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt reiterating the Committee's long-standing demand for the Trump administration's cost-benefit analysis and other documents related to the decision to move Bureau of Land Management (BLM) headquarters staff to Grand Junction, Colo. Grijalva's letter is a response to a Dec. 31, 2019, letter from Bernhardt, in which he claims without any justification that "the Department can conclude… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva Asks Sec. Bernhardt for Data on Staff Losses Due to Forced Bureau of Land Management Transfers, Expected Exodus of Senior Employees

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) wrote to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt today requesting a full analysis of the staffing consequences of Bernhardt's forced transfer of D.C.-based Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees to locations across the West. The forced move, which has been widely criticized as poorly planned and incompetently executed, is likely to result in approximately 80 percent of affected employees leaving the agency. In today's letter, available at… Continue Reading


TIME CHANGE: Chair Grijalva, Rep. Haaland, Former BLM Administration Officials to Speak at Wednesday Press Conference on Forced Transfer of D.C.-Based Employees

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), the chairwoman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, will lead a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time on Wednesday morning at the U.S. Capitol to discuss the Trump administration's forced move of hundreds of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) employees to Grand Junction, Colo., and elsewhere across the West. Former BLM Director Bob Abbey and former BLM Deputy Director Henri B… Continue Reading


New Letter: Chair Grijalva Warns Bernhardt of Potential Liability on Forced BLM Staff Move Without Disparate Impact Analysis – Reiterates Doc Requests

Washington, D.C. - In a new letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt this morning, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) warns of potential legal liability for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) stemming from BLM's forced move of employees based in Washington, D.C., to Grand Junction, Colo., and elsewhere throughout the West. Without analyzing the forced move's potential impacts on BLM staff diversity, Grijalva writes, the Trump administration is o… Continue Reading


Committee Reviews Broken Promises Report That Links Chronic Underfunding to Poor Outcomes in Indian Country

Washington D.C. - Today the House Natural Resources Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States held an oversight hearing to review the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans. The report, released in December of 2018, confirms what tribes across the country already know: that the federal government is not meeting its trust responsibilities and that federal agency spending in Indian country is woefully inadequ… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva on Interior Dept. Backtracking on FOIA Responses: “Political Appointees Should Not Decide What Documents The Public Get to See”

Washington D.C. - Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) released the following statement today on the news that the Department of the Interior (DOI) will reverse its proposed changes to how it processes Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The move comes after public outcry by lawmakers - including former House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) - pushing DOI to end its politicization of the FOIA process. "The Interior Department… Continue Reading


Chair Grijalva, Rep. Lowenthal Release GAO Report Finding Fossil Fuel Companies Have Avoided Paying Billions in Taxpayer Royalties From Offshore Drilling

Washington, D.C. - Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Alan S. Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Chair of the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, today released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finding that U.S. taxpayers have been deprived of nearly $20 billion in offshore oil and gas revenues due to a Newt Gingrich-era law that exempted certain offshore leases from having to pay federal royalties and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) policies that consistently … Continue Reading

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