Committee Republicans Investigate Agency Failures and Ballooning Budget Requests
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing on the president's Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget request for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE). Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) released the following statement in response:
"Congress has an important role in overseeing the Biden Administration’s leasing programs and ensuring that activists within the Administration aren’t abusing their authority to stifle resource development. We have seen actions from the Bureau of Land Management that are meant to slow and kill long term oil, gas and coal development, which will raise energy costs for Americans. It’s time for the American people to get full transparency and answers on the Biden Administration’s actions."
BLM's actions, or lack thereof, under the Biden administration threaten the long-term viability of oil, gas, coal and mineral production on federal lands, increasing energy costs for American families and jeopardizing future revenues to states and local communities. Instead of working with Congress to enact lasting and substantial reforms, the Biden administration has proposed a budget riddled with misplaced priorities justified under the guise of vague conservation and climate objectives.
The FY 2024 budget request for the BLM includes $1.7 billion for its multiple use and sustained yield mandate. However, instead of following this mandate, the agency has moved towards preservationist policies that severely limit domestic energy and mineral production and exacerbate other crises like wildfires. Also, the president’s budget request does not explain how BLM will address the permitting backlogs for oil and gas drilling permits, which stood at 5075 pending permits in the latest published report at the end of January.
The BLM and the OSMRE also have major responsibilities in regulating hardrock and coal mining, as well as reclaiming abandoned mines. Significant oversight is needed to ensure transparent regulations of mining programs under these agencies, particularly the disbursement of new funding made available under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
Today's hearing was an opportunity for committee members to conduct oversight of this concerning deviation from the agency's stated responsibilities and learn more about how these funds are being spent.
This is the first time BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning has testified before the committee following her contentious confirmation hearing and ties to a tree-spiking incident in 1989. Committee Republicans have previously voiced concerns about her ties to eco-terrorism and radical views.For more information, click here.
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