Subcommittee on Federal Lands to Hold Legislative Hearing on Discussion Draft of the “National Park Service Centennial Act”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at 10:00 AM, in Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands will hold a legislative hearing on the discussion draft of the “National Park Service Centennial Act.”
Contact:Committee Press Office202-226-9019
House Committee on Natural Resources to Hold Oversight Field Hearing on Fisheries Access
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, December 7, 2015, at 10:00 AM, at the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Center in Riverhead, New York, the House Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight field hearing on fisheries access titled, “Restoring Atlantic Fisheries and Protecting the Regional Seafood Economy.”
Contact:Committee Press Office202-226-9019
The Committee on Natural Resources today held a legislative hearing on the Protecting America’s Recreation and Conservation (PARC) Act discussion draft, which proposes to reauthorize and reform the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). Chairman Bishop commented following the hearing:
“Today, we heard from states and local park advocates on the need for more money for the successful LWCF Stateside Program – and I want to give it to them. On the one hand, we have my bill, which would restore the integrity of the Fund, protect private property owners from eminent domain, provide new educational opportunities and significantly bolster recreational access at the state and local level as the law originally intended. On the other hand, we have the Obama administration and powerful special interest groups that profit financially under the current LWCF regime, who are willing to lie and cheat to lock in permanently a system that lacks transparency and swindles states’ recreational needs.”
“I am encouraged by the discussion today. The input provided by this panel will help us begin to improve this policy as we move through the legislative process. Ultimately, the law will be reformed.”Read More
Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) sent a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze, outlining concerns with the BLM’s proposed revisions to how the federal government measures and verifies oil and gas production rates on federal lands (Onshore Orders 3,4, and 5).
“I am deeply concerned that the BLM did not regularly engage industry stakeholders to ensure that any proposed rule would encompass industry’s concerns,” the letter states. “A single, two-day meeting addressing the revisions of three major rules affecting many areas of the nation is woefully insufficient, and prevented adequate participation from those regulated entities located in the western states, where the majority of BLM land is.”
“The Committee agrees that the verification of royalties is crucial; however, without necessary stakeholder input, the BLM risks disrupting existing and future development, thereby harming the royalty revenue stream it is trying to protect,” the letter concluded.
Please read the full letter hereRead More
Today, the Committee on Natural Resources released the Federal Footprint Map, which details the immense scale of federal land ownership and regulation in the United States. This interactive tool gathers data from federal agencies and will be used as an educational resource for Members of Congress and their staff, reporters, and the public. Chairman Bishop (R-UT) commented:
“Most people – including policymakers – don’t know that the federal government owns three out of every ten acres in this country and often don’t see the urgency of resisting further land grabs by the federal government. Whether they know it or not, every person is affected by the mammoth federal land ownership in this country. The Federal Footprint Map will help bridge this understanding, and will play a vital educational role as Congress evaluates and responds to executive actions and debates related policy reforms.”
To view the map, click here.
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today recommended the appointment of Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL) to serve as outside conferees to the House-Senate Highway Bill Conference Committee.
“I am proud to recommend Rep. Thompson and Rep. LaHood to represent the Committee on Natural Resources on the highway bill conference committee. These members will advocate for measures to streamline provisions that impact our nation’s precious resources and update infrastructure on both federal and tribal lands as the House and Senate finalize this 6-year legislative package. I thank Rep. LaHood and Rep. Thompson for representing the Committee and look forward to seeing the finished conference product.”
Tonight, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) named 16 House Republicans to serve on the Conference Committee, including Reps. Thompson and LaHood.Read More
Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) responded to President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.
“President Obama has put the final nail in the Keystone XL pipeline’s coffin, thereby nailing his legacy as the most anti-energy extremist President the nation has ever had. Tossing aside years of environmental process from his own State Department in favor of an agenda favored by a few elites, he has rejected critical infrastructure that keeps America energy strong and helps our allies. This is one of the most radical and dangerous moves that the President could make in his final term.”Read More
Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) released a discussion draft of legislation titled the “Protecting America’s Recreation and Conservation (PARC) Act,” which includes several substantive reforms to update the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), enacted in 1965.
“The LWCF’s current lopsided funding ratio makes limited funds available to establish recreation projects and facilities that can be responsibly managed and maintained by State and local entities while continuing to vastly expand the federal estate,” Bishop said. “Even more troubling on the federal side is that the money is being spent with little transparency, scant oversight, and minimal local input.”
Provisions in the discussion draft include: changing appropriation ratios for state and federal programs, emphasizing urban recreational access, limiting funds that may be made available for federal land acquisition or for eminent domain, and designing programs to increase revenues and streamline permitting for offshore energy projects.
“Updating this law is a bipartisan effort. Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, in a recent letter called upon Congress ‘to rebalance funding toward the states’ and ‘renew the Act with a restored commitment to an equitable share for state grants” said Bishop. “Other groups such as the American Wildlife Conservation Partners have called on Congress to ‘modernize LWCF to address contemporary issues’ and secure funding for programs that ‘continue its legacy of success.’”
In early October Bishop sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack inquiring about the use of LWCF funds for federal land acquisition. The Department of Interior’s response letter failed to answer Bishop’s pressing questions about the use and abuse of LWCF funds.Read More
Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources discussed mining legislation to address the failed response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Animas spill three months ago and reform policies that currently impede abandoned mine cleanup nationally.
H.R. 3843 introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (CO-5), the “Locatable Minerals Claim Location and Maintenance Fees Act,” incentivizes private sector actors to remediate abandoned mine lands. These ‘Good Samaritan’ permits provide limited liability protections for industry and non-profit groups that are best equipped with the expertise and tools to cleanup abandoned mines.
“Currently, there are as many as 400,000 abandoned mines across the West, some of which pose serious safety hazards and others that pose environmental risks,” Chairman Lamborn stated. “However because of the complexity and liability issues surrounding abandoned mines, many willing governmental or local communities do not undertake the cleanup process or for those that do, their efforts are often slowed or undercut by federal intrusion.”
H.R. 3844 introduced by Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10), the “Energy and Minerals Reclamation Foundation Establishment Act,” establishes the Energy and Mineral Reclamation Foundation to facilitate cleanup of abandoned mine lands with the freedom to solicit contributions from the general public.
“We can’t charge enough fees or taxes on the mining industry to address the scope of the problem in a timely manner,” Rep. Hice said. “At that rate it would take 277 years to address just the hardrock AML problem. I decided to try a different approach that coupled with the Good Samaritan provisions in H.R. 3843, Mr. Lamborn’s bill, provides an opportunity to address the AML and orphaned well site issue in a more robust fashion with the help of the mining industry, nonprofit organizations, and the American people interested in improving the quality of the environment for the betterment of Society.”
Information will be forthcoming for the upcoming field hearing on H.R. 3734, the “Mining Schools Enhancement Act,” introduced by Rep. Hardy (NV-04), which is the third bill in the Committee's broader mine cleanup reform package.
Click here for more information on the package.Read More
1324 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515