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Abolish the EPA!

Yes!

Since its creation in 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency has been used as a weapon against employers, property owners, farmers and ranchers.

You can’t “reform” poison.  The only option is to abolish the EPA!

I join the thousands of grassroots supporters of Americans for a Better Economy (BetterEconomy.org) in calling on my Representative and both Senators in co-sponsoring and voting for legislation abolishing the EPA!

Committees Request Details on EPA and DOJ’s Rollback of ‘Sue and Settle’ Policy

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Subcommittee Chairman Tom Marino (R-PA), and Environment Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL), June 29 sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Following reports of a recent EPA reform directive, the members request a staff briefing and written guidelines from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and EPA regarding Administrator Pruitt’s reported repudiation of the Obama administration’s favored practice of ‘sue and settle’ agreements, which committed the agency to undertake new rulemakings.

The members write, “During the previous administration, EPA entered numerous settlements or consent decrees, a practice known as ‘sue and settle,’ committing the agency to undertake significant new rulemakings subject to timelines or schedules. This process too often circumvents legitimate oversight by Congress and the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.”

Citing recent media reports that Administrator Pruitt plans on rolling back the sue and settle policy, the members continued, “We appreciate this change in policy, hope that Attorney General Sessions shares Administrator Pruitt’s views, and urge EPA and the Justice Department to develop conforming written guidelines as soon as possible. To assist us in understanding the scope of the recent directive, we request that EPA and DOJ staff provide Committee staff with a briefing on the matter.”

To view the letter, click HERE.

Grizzly Delisting Process Emblematic of Need for ESA Reform

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) June 22 announced grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem will be delisted from the endangered species list. Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) issued the following statement:

“I commend this Administration and the Department of the Interior for delisting the grizzly bear even though it  should have been done years ago. States are far more capable of managing the grizzly population than the federal government. The time it took to get this delisting is the latest evidence that reform of ESA is sorely needed. Recovery and delisting — and responsible state management that will prevent listings in the first place — must be the goals of ESA, not lifetime sentences on the endangered list fraught with frivolous litigation.”

Background:

Grizzly bears are currently listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Delisting the species will allow states the ability to manage populations within their borders.

The grizzly bear population was originally delisted in 2007, but relisted in 20009 following litigation. In 2016, FWS proposed to delist the grizzly bear population as former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar deemed the population “unquestionably recovered” in 2012. The population has remained either steady or increasing for close to a decade.

Committee Passes Bill to Protect Water Rights

The House Committee on Natural Resources June 27 advanced H.R. 2939, the “Water Rights Protection Act of 2017.” Introduced by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), the bill protects privately held water rights from federal overreach.  

“In recent years, we have seen federal agencies ignore the concept of private property rights and the tradition of deferring to state water law in an attempt to federalize water resources and pave the way for unilateral mandates,” Rep. Tipton said. “Western water users agree that we can’t let this happen, and I am glad that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle showed their support today for the Water Rights Protection Act, which will preserve the rights of all water users and provide certainty that the federal government cannot take their rights in the future.”

Background:

H.R. 2939 prohibits the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture from requiring private entities to relinquish their water rights to the federal government as a permit condition to continue operating on federal lands – an abuse of power with which Western states have been repeatedly threatened.

Click here for more information.

This Bill Improves Transparency, Management of Federal Land Ownership

The House Committee on Natural Resources July 26 passed H.R. 2199, the “Federal Land Asset Inventory Reform Act of 2017” or the “FLAIR Act.” Introduced by Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), the bipartisan bill requires the Department of the Interior to create a publicly available register of federal real property to increase transparency and improve management of the federal estate.

“Federal land managers often do not have a precise picture of what lands the federal government owns because there is not one accurate database of federal lands and their boundaries. The FLAIR Act increases transparency and efficiency by conducting an inventory of its federal property holdings and integrating the findings into one database that can track and manage property. By adopting the FLAIR Act, we can improve federal land management, resource conservation, and environmental protection, all while reducing land ownership conflict and saving taxpayer dollars in the maintenance of one, efficient database,” Rep. Cramer said.

These Three Bills Bring Certainty to Mining Industry

The House Natural Resources Comittee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing July 27 on three bills to bring greater certainty to the mining industry and shield economic development and energy projects from politically motivated actions.  

[T]he effects [of the Obama Administration’s coal moratorium] were felt most by the people in my state who lost good paying mining jobs and the communities that were devastated by drastic reductions in the economic activity our coal industry supports. In Wyoming, this was not a war on coal, this was a direct attack on the livelihoods of the people of my state,” Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said. The people of Wyoming deserve better and that’s why I introduced the bill before us today.”

H.R. 1778 (Rep. Liz Cheney, R-WY) requires congressional approval of any order by the Interior Secretary imposing a moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands.

We believe that Congress should certainly have a say in the matter. For Wyoming, the state most directly and disproportionally affected, this is critical,” Executive Director of the Wyoming Mining Association Travis Deti stated. “This legislation is about shielding America’s most abundant, reliable and affordable energy resource from politically motivated administrations.”

In addition to the coal moratorium, the Obama Administration in 2016 unilaterally denied renewing mineral leases on National Forest land in Minnesota that were held since the late 1960s. In case that wasn’t enough, the Administration also proposed to withdraw over 200,000 acres from mineral exploration and development, which conveniently covered the area of these longstanding leases.

Rep. Tom Emmer’s (R-MN) discussion draft legislation corrects these injustices to the communities of Northeaster Minnesota by requiring congressional approval to withdraw any minerals on National Forest System lands in the State of Minnesota.

We have the opportunity today to fix this. By considering this proposal, you are not authorizing any mining project in the Superior National Forest. We are simply recognizing the right of Minnesotans to exercise their mineral rights if any proposed mining can satisfy all the stringent environmental requirements,” Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) said.  

[The Obama Administration’s] arbitrary withdrawal of land will decimate the economic future of Northeastern Minnesota and a way of life available to future generations of Minnesotans,” Chairman of Jobs for Minnesotans Nancy Norr stated.

Norr estimates that new mining projects in the proposed withdrawal areas have the potential to generate more than $2.5 billion in royalties for the Minnesota education system and $1.5 billion in annual wages.

H.R. 3117 (Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-WV), the “Transparency and Honesty in Energy Regulations Act of 2017,” prohibits the use of ambiguous metrics in environmental rulemaking such as the social cost of carbon.

The social cost of carbon and its siblings, the social cost of methane and social cost of nitrous oxide, have become political tools. Exaggerating the benefits of regulations to sell them to the American public is disingenuous. The nation is already making major strides to improve the environment and lower emissions. We can continue to do so without sacrificing economic growth,” Rep. Jenkins said.

Click here to view full witness testimony. 

VIDEO: Fake News media lying about ‘national parks’

Teddy Roosevelt would not recognize the bill that he signed into law all those years ago in 1906. That’s because the Antiquities Act has been savaged beyond recognition by repeated executive abuse. Does working to rectify that abuse, through congressional action or otherwise, constitute an attack on our country’s treasured national parks?

While there are some who intentionally conflate monuments and parks, using the media as their echo chamber of misinformation, the answer, of course, is no.

Chairman Rob Bishop, a former school teacher, takes us back to the classroom for a brief lesson on the dramatic differences between the two.

(HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES)