Home > newsroom > Page
Chairman Hastings: The Imperial President Strikes Again
President Obama Raises Border Security Concerns by Unilaterally Designating 500,000 Acre National Monument in New Mexico over Local Objections

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2014 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) issued the following statement today on President Obama’s use of the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate nearly 500,000 acres in New Mexico as the Organ Mountain–Desert Peak National Monument:

“The Imperial President strikes again.  Instead of working in a transparent, open manner that guarantees public participation, President Obama is taking unilateral action, behind closed-doors to designate hundreds of thousands of acres.  Local communities and their local elected leaders oppose this designation because they know it will block job-creating economic activities and increase security risks along the U.S.-Mexico borderDrug smuggling and criminal activity are known challenges in this area and the designation could put the Nation’s border security at risk. This is an issue that deserves careful examination. Time and again we have seen examples of where restrictive federal land management policies have created security risks including lawless corridors where criminals roam outside of law enforcement’s reach.

During the President’s first-term in office an internal memo was leaked that revealed a scheme to lock-up more than 13 million acres – including this land in New Mexico - with the simple stroke of the President’s pen.  The fears and concerns then have now been turned into reality.   This is not the way major land-use decisions should be made.  That’s why earlier this year, the House passed legislation to protect communities from federal land grabs and require public participation in the process.”

Background

In March, the House passed H.R. 1459, the Ensuring Public Involvement in the Creation of National Monuments Act. This bill would require public participation before a presidentially-declared National Monument is made official. Under a century-old law, the 1906 Antiquities Act, presidents can unilaterally designate National Monuments without any input or involvement of the American public, community leaders, or elected officials. This authority, enacted prior to the establishment of today’s land management laws, was intended to be used in emergencies to protect historic artifacts and sites of scientific value from imminent threat and “confined to the smallest area” necessary.

 

###

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

Latest News

Committee Passes Bill to Improve Regulatory Efficiency, Environmental Progress

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 3133, the “Streamlining Environmental Approvals (SEA) Act of 2017.” Introduced by Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the bill amends the Marine Mamma...... Read more

Minority Leadership Flip Flops on Support for Tribal Rights in House Vote

Today, 158 House Democrats voted against S. 140 (Sen. Jeff Flake, R-AZ), a bill that promotes tribal self-governance over tribal resources, lands and business regulation. Despite claims to overwhelmin...... Read more

Curtis Bill Enhances Antiquities Protections, Creates First Ever Tribally-Managed National Monument

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on H.R. 4532, the “Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act.” Introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), and c...... Read more

View All News

Calendar

Oversight Hearing, “Examining the Department of the Interior’s Actions to Eliminate Onshore Energy Burdens.”
Energy and Mineral Resources | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Oversight Hearing, “Deficiencies in the Permitting Process for Offshore Seismic Research”
Energy and Mineral Resources | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
Legislative Hearing on H.R. 4532
Federal Lands | 1324 Longworth House Office Building
View All Events