Bipartisan Senate Delegation Calls for Regulatory Certainty in Natural Resource Development

19 Members Question Administration’s Recent Mitigation Memorandum

February 25, 2016
01:45 PM

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, led 18 of her colleagues on a letter to President Obama raising concerns about the impacts of a Presidential Memorandum he issued late last year on resource mitigation. While the new memorandum is ostensibly meant to increase private investment and streamline federal permitting, Murkowski and her colleagues questioned whether it would impede rather than advance those goals.

“The Memorandum itself seeks to ensure that ‘Federal policies are clear…and are implemented consistently within agencies,’” the members wrote. “Given the differing legal authorities of the agencies, how does the Memorandum, with terms that CEQ noted are at times by design subject to interpretation, result in an umbrella of ‘consistent standards and guidance’ for landscape-scale conservation while simultaneously affording ‘right tailored approaches’ in individual instances?”

Murkowski and her colleagues called on President Obama to provide clarity about the specific goals of the memorandum, how it will be implemented, and the likely consequences of its implementation.                                                                                     

“We look forward to learning, as promptly as possible, more about what you expect the Memorandum to achieve and, more specifically, how its implementation will lead to ‘Federal policies that are clear, work similarly across agencies and are implemented consistently within agencies,’” the members wrote.

A House Natural Resources Committee oversight hearing on Wednesday also examined the impacts of the memorandum on natural resources production.

Murkowski, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was joined by Sens. Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Capito (R-W.Va.), Cassidy (R-La.), Crapo (R-Idaho), Daines (R-Mont.), Enzi (R-Wyo.), Flake (R-Ariz.), Gardner (R-Colo.), Hatch (R-Utah), Heller (R-Nev.), Inhofe (R-Okla.), Lee (R-Utah), Manchin (D-W.Va.), McCain (R-Ariz.), Moran (R-Kan.), Risch (R-Idaho), Sullivan (R-Alaska), and Vitter (R-La.) on Wednesday’s letter to the administration.

The letter is now available on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee website.