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Westerman, Barrasso Urge Haaland to Keep DOI's Commitment, Publicize Calendar

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 3, 2021 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) sent a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, requesting she follow the commitments made by her own staff and the previous two administrations' practice of disclosing the secretary's schedule, meeting requests and travel records. In part, the members wrote:

"Transparency is 'fundamental to good governance and accountability,' and acutely needed for agency leaders. For the previous Administration, Natural Resources Committee (Committee) Democrats deemed the practice of publishing the Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary’s external calendar weekly as an insufficient practice in transparency, and requested additional details about meetings. Although you were a member of the Committee during that oversight effort, almost all of your calendars as Secretary remain unavailable to the public. The principles of transparency transcend administrations, and the American people deserve to know who is influencing government leaders’ decision making. DOI’s current practice raises serious questions about proper records maintenance and if your schedule is being deliberately withheld.

"Despite being confirmed 234 days ago, only 12 days of your schedule are publicly available. As DOI pushes misguided policies, like locking up access to public lands, limiting water supplies to farmers and communities, and hampering domestic energy and mineral production, publication of your calendar is necessary to evaluate how and with whom your time is spent. The continued absence of your calendars from public view actively conceals such critical information. Publishing your calendar will help shed light on how our nation’s environmental and natural resources policies are being shaped."

Read the full letter here.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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