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Chairman Hastings Announces Full Committee Meeting to Consider Motion to Authorize Issuance of Subpoenas


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27, 2012 - On Wednesday, August 1st the Natural Resources Committee will meet to consider a motion to authorize Chairman Hastings to issue subpoenas for five Interior Department officials, and others as may be necessary, to appear before the Committee to give testimony and answer questions. The agenda will also include the markup of a limited number of legislative bills to be reported to the House for consideration.

A July 25th oversight hearing of the Committee, where five Department officials had been invited to testify, was postponed after the Department refused, less than 20 hours before the hearing, to confirm their attendance. The hearing, regarding the May 2010 Interior Department action to impose a six-month drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and the Department’s report that falsely stated independent engineers had peer reviewed and supported a moratorium, is expected to be rescheduled for September when the House returns to session.

Prior to the announcement of the July 25th hearing, the Department refused requests, first made in February, to conduct on-the-record interviews of the five individuals by Committee staff.

The Department has failed to comply with a Congressional subpoena for documents served to Secretary Salazar in April in this investigation, and also failed to comply with two subpoenas served in April and May to the Secretary in the investigation into the Department’s rewrite of a coal production regulation that could result in the loss of thousands of jobs and economic harm to over 20 states.

“While the actions of the Interior Department demonstrate it has chosen to ignore the legitimate oversight responsibilities of the Committee, we are dedicated to acquiring information and straight answers about the decisions and actions of the Administration that caused lost jobs and economic harm in the Gulf. Taking the step to issue subpoenas for witnesses to appear before the Committee is not the preferred option, but if that is the only way to acquire answers and accountability of the Administration, we’re left with no other choice. The Department has chosen this path by refusing to provide documents, refusing on-the-record interviews and refusing to accept invitations to testify,” said Chairman Doc Hastings.

WHAT: Full Committee Meeting on:
  • Motion to authorize Chairman to issue subpoenas
  • Markup of legislation–to be announced
WHEN: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
10:00 A.M.

WHERE: 1324 Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building

The markup is open to the public and a live stream will be broadcast at
/live.

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Contact: Jill Strait, Spencer Pederson or Crystal Feldman 202-226-9019

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