WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to Secretary Zinke asking the Department of the Interior to modernize its fiscal policies before taking any further steps to increase or streamline fossil fuel production on federal lands.
In the letter the Members wrote, “As Ranking Members of the Congressional committees charged with overseeing the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) stewardship of public lands and resources, we are committed to ensuring that the American people receive their fair share for the use or sale of publicly-owned mineral resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal.”
“Unfortunately, your Department’s actions so far this year have served to do the exact opposite, reducing the return that taxpayers receive instead of increasing it.”
“Continuing to turn more public lands and undervalued minerals over to the oil and gas and coal industries cannot continue,” the Members wrote. “Stating that you are in favor of a fair return for taxpayers is meaningless when your actions act as giveaways to fossil fuel companies. Prior to taking any further steps to increase or streamline fossil fuel production on federal lands, it is imperative that you first modernize the Department’s fiscal policies.”
The full letter can be found here.