Committee on Natural Resources

Rob Bishop

Bishop: Judicial Decision on Lesser Prairie Chicken Reins in Fish and Wildlife Service


Yesterday, the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas issued an order which vacates the Lesser Prairie Chicken listing under the Endangered Species Act, on the basis that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) did not apply the proper criteria for evaluating conservation efforts at the state level. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in response:

The U.S. District Court decision ruled that by listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken as threatened, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been illegally steamrolling states by their own secret rules. The Obama administration has been merciless in its quest to list species – even when the science says otherwise. This is exactly why the House passed provisions to stop FWS from undoing the states’ conservation work on both the Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Sage Grouse.”

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Bishop: Climate Focus in Alaska Reveals Obama's Geopolitical Blinders


House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today issued the following statement in response to the President’s trip to Alaska.

“The United States takes over as head of the Arctic Council this year and the President’s trip shows he’s not ready for it.  As Putin has shown no qualms about promoting Arctic oil and gas development to grow ever stronger in the Arctic, the President is stifling resource development in pursuit of regulatory hegemony over America’s energy assets.  The President’s priorities reveal that he has blinders on when it comes to the importance of energy in geopolitics.”

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Committees Demand Answers on EPA’s Animas Spill Ahead of Joint Oversight Hearing


House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), and Vice Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, requesting data and documents about the events leading up to the EPA’s Animas spill and the corresponding response effort.

The Committees are requesting oversight  into this toxic spill in order to further “understand how and why the August 2015 Gold King Mine accident occurred” ahead of the joint hearing on the EPA’s Animas Spill on September 17, 2015. Read the letter here.

The Committees also sent a letter to the Environmental Restoration, LLC, the private contractor involved in the accident, requesting information and emails pertaining to the Gold King Mine project and subsequent spill. Read the letter here.

Please click here for more information regarding the hearing.

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Bishop: Obama Inserts Harmful Climate Agenda at Hurricane Katrina Anniversary


House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today issued the following statement in response to the President’s remarks in New Orleans:

“The White House has held fast to its mantra that a tragedy is a terrible thing to waste.  Burning plenty of carbon-emitting fuel as Air Force One travels to New Orleans, the President has hijacked the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina in order to prop up his propagandist climate creed.

“The President’s climate plan is a hurricane of regulations that disproportionately harms underprivileged communities and those who suffered the most from Hurricane Katrina. These folks don’t have the money to pay for the skyrocketing energy costs which, make no mistake, is the end game of Obama’s climate legacy.

“If successful, the President’s climate legacy will effectively shut down America’s offshore energy industry, which is absolutely vital to the survival of New Orleans and the Gulf.  It’s appalling that the President has the arrogance to come to New Orleans and demonize the industry that supports the livelihoods of so many Louisianans from the bully pulpit.”

The Committee will be holding an oversight hearing in New Orleans on The Impacts of Federal Policies on Energy Production and Economic Growth in the Gulf” on September 15. Click here for details.

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Bishop: Throwing Salt in the Wound In Latest Water Diversion Decision


House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in response to the Bureau of Reclamation’s latest announcement to flush Trinity River water towards non-listed fish species. 

“As California and the West are drying up, the Obama Administration has announced another unjustified water grab that prioritizes fish over people. People out West are suffering from lack of water, but the Administration has not demonstrated that this massive diversion will even help the non-listed fish. The Bureau of Reclamation must provide the scientific justification behind this decision, especially when the water now being flushed down the river was dedicated to Central Valley farmers that need relief. Unfortunately, this decision is a part of larger salt in the wound policies that make a bad situation even worse.  H.R. 2898, the bipartisan legislation that the House passed in July, will help bring much-needed relief.”

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Bishop: President Obama’s Energy Agenda is Powering Dependency


House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) today issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s remarks at the Eighth Annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Once again, the President is deceptively touting his Administration’s agenda as necessary to expand affordable energy to more Americans. This could not be further from the truth. The Administration’s energy policies are leveling increased costs and decreased choices on all Americans and especially the most disadvantaged communities. The President claims to be a champion of energy progress but his record over the last eight years has actually undercut the energy progress that has been spearheaded by industry and states.

“Raising utility prices by as much as $1,000 per family which will reduce GDP by as much half a percentage point a year is not powering progress, but instead a recipe for America’s decline and continued energy dependency. Instead of spending another $1 billion of taxpayer money to prop up noncompetitive sources of energy, the President should cut barriers to energy development on federal land and offshore.”

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Bishop Responds to Tragic Deaths of Firefighters


Today, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) responded to the loss of the three firefighters who lost their lives fighting the Twisp River fire in Washington State this week: Tom Zbyszewski, 20, Andrew Zajac, 26, and Richard Wheeler, 31. This follows the deaths of David Ruhl, 38, and Michael Hallenback, 21, who died fighting two different California wildfires earlier this summer.  

“I am grieved to hear about the loss of the three young men who lost their lives fighting the Twisp River fire in Washington, as well as the two men who died fighting California wildfires earlier this summer. These five firefighters are heroes who stopped at nothing to protect communities threatened by the catastrophic wildfires ripping across the entire West. I offer my deep condolences to the families of these brave men. I am committed to working with my colleagues and the Administration on solutions to ensure unnecessary tragedies like this are prevented in the future.” 

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Bishop: Methane Plan Flies in Face of Technological Reality


Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposal for limiting methane from the oil and natural gas industry.  Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement in response:

“The EPA’s plan to limit emissions flies in the face of technological reality. The truth is that while the oil and natural gas industry has greatly increased production on state and private lands, methane emissions have actually fallen. This proposal is another unprecedented attack aimed at federal control of our nation’s energy production, with the goal of stopping new production. Additionally, the rule targets Indian lands, which will further limit tribes’ ability to develop their own lands. The Obama Administration continues to prioritize the fantasies of the environmental Left over American energy security and economic growth.”

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Bishop To Visit Lake Powell Following EPA’s Animas River Disaster


On Monday, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) will visit Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River that straddles the borders of Utah and Arizona, in the aftermath of the EPA-triggered toxic spill into the Animas River. This lake and the Glen Canyon Dam that supports it are expected to be impacted by the dangerously high levels of lead, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium and mercury spreading from the Animas River down through the San Juan River. Bishop released the following statement:

“EPA’s grave blunder is posing a serious threat to both the environment and the economy in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. Lands and projects managed by the Department of the Interior and Forest Service - not to mention the tribal concerns – within my Committee’s jurisdiction will be seriously and negatively impacted. In the coming weeks and months, the Committee will be conducting extensive oversight over the causes and the short-term and long-term effects of this serious situation.”

Additional information on the Committee’s oversight efforts concerning the Animas River spill and related impacts on federal agencies will be forthcoming. Read More

Field Hearing Highlights Draconian Rejection of Science, Local Stakeholder Input with National Park Service’s General Management Plan for Biscayne Bay


Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Small Business Committee held a joint field hearing in Homestead, Florida, on the National Park Service’s (NPS) General Management Plan (GMP) for Biscayne National Park released in June 2015.  The GMP, which includes a Marine Reserve Zone (MRZ) that would be closed to all commercial and recreational fishing, conflicts with the position of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the recommendations of the park's own stakeholder working group. 

“Today we heard first-hand accounts from Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, local fishermen and businesses on the National Park Service’s draconian plan to close a third of the Biscayne National Park’s reefs from fishing,”
stated House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-R). “The National Park Service set up local management advisory groups on Biscayne National Park - and then ignored the recommendations.  The State of Florida’s input on the plan was rebuffed. This is not the way to run a National Park System.”

“I commend my Florida colleagues Rep. Curbelo, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen and Rep. Diaz-Balart for helping to elevate public attention to this matter,” Bishop added. “Together, we will take action to address the abuses of the National Park Service and re-establish public input and access at Biscayne Bay.”

On Thursday, July 30th, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen introduced the Preserving Public Access to Public Waters Act (H.R. 3310), which would ensure that federal and state agencies collaborate in the development of any new fishing access restrictions in areas where state marine waters and national park or national marine sanctuary boundaries overlap. The Committee on Natural Resources will be acting on the legislation.

During the hearing, witnesses discussed the NPS’s disregard for state and public input, lack of transparency, and disregard for the scientific process in developing the GMP, as well as the economic and environmental implications of the final GMP.

Ms. Jessica McCawley, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries Management, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), stated:
“FWC cannot support this plan for many reasons. First, the Park’s refusal to explore alternatives to a no-fishing marine reserve zone early in the GMP planning process ultimately contributed to a failed attempt to find a workable compromise. Second, FWC views the implementation of a no-fishing zone within the marine reserve zone under the GMP as a breach of the partnership agreement established through the MOU. Third, the proposed fishery closure is being based on an inappropriate application of scientific analysis. Fourth, the closure would unnecessarily restrict public access and negatively impact the south Florida economy.”

"The data bases used to begin the development of the GMP more than a decade ago are no longer germane to current stock levels or the condition of sea grasses, corals and other benthic habitat.  Park managers find it far too convenient to blame fishing for all of the ills facing the park because it is the easiest to regulate,”
stated Mr. Ernie Piton, Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association. “The development of the GMP is now 14 years old and again, working groups assembled to help in the formulation of the plan have not met for at least 12 years."

Mr. Carl Liederman, Owner of Miami's Captain Harry’s Fishing Supply, stated
: “While significant in terms of lost public access, closing this area will do nothing biologically to improve the overall fisheries conditions in the park. There is simple no good science to support it, as the FWC can attest here today. And that coupled with the adverse economic impact this closure will bring to many of the marine related small businesses in south Florida makes this closure a very bad idea.”

Click here to view additional information on the hearing. 

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Contact Information

1324 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2761
Fax 202-225-5929


Dan Benishek


Rob Bishop


Bradley Byrne


Paul Cook


Jeff Denham


Jeff Duncan


John Fleming


Louie Gohmert


Paul Gosar


Garret Graves


Crescent Hardy


Jody Hice


Raul Labrador


Doug LaMalfa


Doug Lamborn


Cynthia Lummis


Tom MacArthur


Tom McClintock


Alex Mooney


Dan Newhouse


Amata Radewagen


Glenn Thompson


Bruce Westerman


Rob Wittman


Donald Young


Ryan Zinke


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