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Press Release

Committee Sounds Alarm on Biden Administration’s Efforts to Lock Up Public Lands and Waters

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 15, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
  • OI Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing on the Biden administration's published National Strategy to Develop Environmental Economic Decisions and concerns surrounding natural capital accounting. Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) issued the following statement in response:

"It’s concerning to see the Biden Administration’s latest efforts to lock up more public lands and water to advance its radical climate agenda and DEI initiatives through the use of natural capital accounting and economic value accounting practices. Worse, foreign governments exploit these practices, limiting our ability to manage our resources and leaving America further at the mercy of global forces that don’t give a damn about our sovereignty."


Natural capital accounting is used to assess the available natural resources and their value. The United Nations developed a system to integrate the value of the environment's importance to society and the economy into a country's system of national accounting. 

Ecosystem services valuation is different in that it measures the value of ecosystem services by placing a dollar amount on the direct and indirect benefits that ecosystems provide humans. While establishing fair accounting standards is essential, this kind of valuation would instead take those fair standards and manipulate them into a way to monetize nature.

Treating natural assets as a form of capital is becoming increasingly popular and has been embraced by the Biden administration through executive orders, guidance to agencies and requests for information. However, the Biden administration has done this without proper consideration of the widespread implications of these policies. Perhaps more alarmingly, the Biden administration is attempting to bypass Congress and use natural capital accounting and ecosystem services valuation to support its partisan, anti-use agenda to limit access to America's natural resources. The practice also opens the door for foreign control of America’s public lands and natural resources through investment by foreign governments or agents. 

The committee has recently initiated an investigation into Natural Asset Companies and a recent proposed rule that would have allowed their listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Natural Asset Companies are a new type of company that would allow investors, including foreign interests, to control national parks and public lands. The rule has since been withdrawn following oversight efforts by the committee. Earlier this week, the Committee sent an oversight letter to the New York Stock Exchange requesting more information on the proposal.

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