GOP Senators: National Monuments Become Administration’s Latest Tool in War against Oil and Gas

Environmentalists pushing White House to put federal land off limits to energy production by abusing authority to designate land as a national monument

June 13, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) – The top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, along with seven other Republican Senators, including Senator Mike Lee, sent a letter to President Obama asking him not to designate large areas of federal land as national monuments. Far-left environmental groups are urging the White House to designate more land as national monuments, not for the purposes of protecting important historical areas, but to prevent oil and gas production on the land and to boost the re-election efforts of Democratic senators.

“Unilateral monument designations are a direct affront to democracy,” said Senator Mike Lee. “At the very least, Congress should have to approve the designations because the people’s representatives are better situated to know whether or not the citizens of a state approve of or oppose the designation.

“Monument designations under this administration deserve particular scrutiny.  After revelations that the IRS targeted political opponents of the president before the last election, we are now hearing that far-left environmental groups are expecting rewards for their support of the president.  Lands are not the spoils of political battles.  How they can and cannot be used directly affects the local and state economy, and the ability to fund things like education and infrastructure improvements.”
Cosigning the letter with Lee are Sens. David Vitter (R-Louisiana), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Jim Inhfoe (R-Okla.).

GOP Senators: National Monuments Become Administrations Latest Tool in War against Oil and Gas