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Republicans Seek Information from DOI on Obama-era Midnight Skirting of Environmental Laws
Presses Committee Democrats to Review Politically Motivated Mineral Withdrawals

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2019 -

Today, Ranking Republican Rob Bishop (R-Utah), U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) sent two letters. One letter to the Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary David Bernhardt and the other to the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair U.S. Rep. TJ Cox (D-Calif.). These were in response to recently-disclosed assertions from U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) that the Obama administration made politically motivated decisions to deny mineral lease renewals and unilaterally withdraw the formerly-leased areas from future development.

The letter sent to DOI requests documents related to the decision by the Obama administration, during its final months in office, to deny renewal applications for two decades-long mineral leases in northern Minnesota.

The letter sent to Rep. TJ Cox, Chair of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, requests an investigation into the highly irregular actions taken by the Obama administration which, had the Trump administration not reversed, would have deprived northern Minnesota of an opportunity to generate thousands of well-paying jobs.

“…the circumstances surrounding the denial of the lease renewals and the mineral withdrawal application were unusual, secretive, and suggest a political or malicious motivation… Given these revelations, the Obama Administration’s decision process to deny renewal applications for two decades-long mineral leases and begin the mineral withdrawal process are inconsistent with the best practices of transparency.”

 “This matter demands oversight… We urge you [U.S. Rep. TJ Cox], as a fellow rural westerner aware of the impacts of federal land management decisions on State and local communities, to exercise your responsibilities as a subcommittee chairman.”

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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